OTTUMWA — South Ottumwa Savings Bank announced Saturday it is still actively processing Paycheck Protection Program loans.

Since the first of the year, the bank has provided more than 640 loans worth $12.5 million to eligible borrowers. In 2020, 300 loans totaling $15.8 million were processed, bringing total funding to more than $28 million.

"We have been able to put money back into our local economy, which also helps other local businesses," said Tim Brcka, vice president, loan officer, said in a statement. "Our staff is happy to help with any questions people may have and are grateful for the trust that our community puts in us."

The PPP loans are designed to provide direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll, hire back employees who may have been laid off because of COVID-19, and to cover any overhead expenses.

The loan is forgivable, and banks fund it through the Small Business Administration. Businesses that may qualify are sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed persons.

The bank, which also has branches in Albia, Hedrick and West Liberty, accepts applications from customers and non-customers, with the application period ending May 31.

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