Last Thursday, we announced our Q1 2020 earnings and held our annual shareholder meeting. Following these events, I am reflecting on the changes we have all experienced since just the beginning of this year and wanted to share with you the status of some of our relief efforts and reinforce our commitment to doing everything we can to increase your probability of success. In good times and in challenging times, this is our mission.
Like you, we are moved by heart-wrenching hardships impacting companies and communities worldwide. We are inspired by the brave people who show up every day to provide us all essential services. SVB considers it our responsibility to support them and the larger community as well as we possibly can during this exceptionally tough time. None of our debt relief or community support efforts would be possible without our solid financial foundation, which allows us to invest in our business, offer immediate relief to clients and respond in robust ways to community needs.
Our long history of working with high-growth companies and their investors, private equity firms, premium wineries and private banking clients positions us well to help navigate adversity and help our clients manage successfully through this difficult time. Together, we are making a difference. There are SVB clients that are developing vaccines, contact tracing methods and faster healthcare delivery models. Our employees and locally-funded charities are helping students and seniors adapt to lockdowns and getting healthcare providers access to life-saving equipment and nourishment.
Consistent with our long tradition of supporting and giving back to our communities, we initially committed $5.5 million to local, regional and global COVID-19 relief activities in the eight countries and 15 states where we have offices. We just announced that we will also donate all net fees we receive from the US CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to support pandemic relief efforts.
I want to share with you some of the highlights of our COVID-19 Response & Community Support Initiatives to date:
SVB Debt Relief
Our teams have worked with many of our clients to find some funding and payment relief to support their challenging situations. Since the beginning of April, our venture debt principal deferral program has enabled more than 1,000 startups to defer their principal payments for six months on loans of $10 million or less for a combined $2.1 billion in funded debt. The Premium Wine Division is enabling a majority of clients to defer principal payments for three to six months, and we have created a wine gifting program to support wine sales. In addition, SVB Private Bank clients have also been given the option to defer mortgage payments for 90 days.
SVB is actively working with industry groups and government leaders in the US, UK and other nations to help design and implement small-business economic relief programs to create stability and then prepare for recovery. In the first round of the PPP, SVB received more than 5,500 applications, of which more than 3,600 were processed through SBA’s online system, representing approximately $2.2 billion in relief, as of April 16. We will continue to support this program given new fund availability and will process as many previously received applications as possible. We continue to review other government programs for client eligibility.
Additional Startup and Small Business Resources
SVB is supporting emergency small business grants of $10,000 each for qualified applicants through Hello Alice’s Business for All initiative. Hello Alice hosts a free COVID-19 Business Resource Center that is focused on linking women- and minority-owned businesses to relief programs, funding opportunities, mentors and other support programs. To learn more and apply for emergency grants, go to https://www.covid19businesscenter.com.
Engaging Community Support
We have identified three primary focus areas for our philanthropic efforts: health, food security and shelter, and small business relief. The $5.5 million we committed to COVID-19 charitable relief initiatives, was accomplished through corporate contributions to global and national or regional charities, direct community-based giving and a 3:1 match for employees’ donations to relevant causes in their local area. We will expand donations with the net PPP loan origination fees we receive from the SBA program when they become available.
In partnership with Founders Pledge, SVB also developed the COVID-19 Global Impact & Innovation Fund, which we seeded with a $1 million contribution. The goal of the fund is to identify and consolidate into a single fund, high-impact organizations that are now focused on activities to help slow COVID-19’s spread and provide immediate relief to those affected. The fund is open for donations from the public.
Supporting Our Employees
We hear from our clients every day that our employees are our greatest asset. I agree. Their resilience and perseverance during this crisis has been remarkable. We know if we take care of our employees, only then can they take care of you. SVB is supporting our employees and their families with health, well-being and financial support programs. Our employees are pulling together to serve you.
For updates on SVB COVID-19 Response & Community Support efforts, please visit https://www.svb.com/covid-relief.
For more than 35 years, SVB has supported our clients through up and down cycles. Short term, there may be many unknowns, but we believe that the hallmark resilience of our clients will continue. We are honored to be able to assist you and we are working hard to improve your chances of managing successfully through this crisis. We remain optimistic, and we are here to help you.
Wishing you well,
Silicon Valley Bank