To Keep the Economy Afloat, the Fed Turns to North Dakota

Posted on April 29, 2020Comments Off on To Keep the Economy Afloat, the Fed Turns to North Dakota

By Oscar Perry Obello in YES Magazine, April 29, 2020

Bankers generally don’t like surprises. But as CEO at the Bank of North Dakota, the only state-owned bank in the country, Eric Hardmeyer was pleasantly surprised to see the Federal Reserve taking a page out of his institution’s playbook to help deal with the unprecedented economic disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Fed seems to be thinking of everything we were thinking about two or three weeks ago,” Hardmeyer said.

To help small business stay afloat through the pandemic, banks and credit unions have been already tasked with putting out more federally backed loans to small businesses in a few weeks than they typically do in a year. The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program was part of Congress’ bailout bill provided $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses.