It was more than a year ago when Tamara Gurney and her community bank were thrust into a frantic workplace. Customers were desperate, the rules of a new loan program changed – sometimes daily – and employees had to be massively redeployed. Many worked evenings and weekends for nearly two months.

“To say that it was chaotic for everyone, not just us, would be an understatement,” said Gurney, the founding president and chief executive of Mission Valley Bank in Sun Valley.

What sparked that chaos was the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program that rolled out in the early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic. The program, commonly called PPP, offered businesses loans with a 1 percent interest rate but the loans didn’t have to be paid back at all so long as 60 percent of the proceeds were used for payroll and some other qualified expenses. It was a lifesaver for many businesses.  


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