North Carolina’s small businesses ranked slightly better in terms of number of approved loans and loan amount so far in the second round of the federal Paycheck Protection Program.

The U.S. Small Business Administration reported Friday that 66,677 small businesses in the state were approved for PPP loans between the second round begun April 27 and May 8.

North Carolina is the country’s ninth largest state at 10.61 million residents and is poised to surpass Georgia.

North Carolina was 11th in terms of number of approved loans. Those loans accounted for a combined $4.69 billion, eighth highest.

By comparison, North Carolina ranked 16th in the first PPP round in terms of loan dollar commitment at just more than $8 billion, and 15th in number of approved loans at 39,250. A Bloomberg News report found that 53% of N.C. applications were approved in the first round.

A total of $250 billion was approved for the second PPP round, with the SBA capping how much a bank can offer at 10% of the total amount.

As of May 8, the SBA said 2.57 million loans had been made nationwide with a combined value of $188.9 billion.

About 73% of all PPP loans nationwide were for less than $50,000, while 0.06% were for more than $5 million and 0.25% between $2 million and $5 million.

Eligible for PPP loans are companies with up to 500 employees, as well as independent contractors or the self-employed.

Small businesses can apply for low-interest loans for up to 2½ times their average monthly payroll.

The loans will be fully or partially forgiven if businesses show that at least 75% of the money was used to retain or rehire employees, and the rest to pay certain expenses, through June 30.

The second round also contains $60 billion for small banks and an alternative network of community-development banks that focus on development in urban neighborhoods and rural areas.

There’s also $60 billion for small-business loans and grants delivered through the SBA’s disaster aid program.

Peter Gwaltney, president and chief executive of the N.C. Bankers Association, said he heard from banks and potential borrowers concerns about how the SBA initially required lenders to deposit the loan funds into accounts within five days of approval.

The SBA adjusted the deposit time requirement to 10 days, and said that while it would stick with the 10-day deadline, it would not enforce penalties on lenders.

rcraver@wsjournal.com

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@rcraverWSJ

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