COCHISE COUNTY – According to National Bank of Arizona media spokesperson Jenavi Kasper, 164 businesses across Cochise County were helped through the Paycheck Protection Program and 1,766 jobs saved during the slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mark Young, CEO and president of National Bank of Arizona, stated in a press release, “The Paycheck Protection Program provided tremendous assistance to many businesses and families in Cochise County. With the presence of local branches and employees, we were able to provide access to the Small Business Administration’s PPP for Cochise County businesses.

“It has been frequently said that we are all in this together, and I certainly want to thank our customers for having the confidence to trust us to help them, and our associates for the great skill and effort they exhibited in this time crisis.”

NBAZ was able to help small businesses in nearly 170 cities and municipalities across Arizona, from as far south as Yuma and Nogales to as far north as Page and Kayenta. Ultimately, this funding helped protect paychecks for more than 60,000 Arizona workers based on applicant data, said Kasper.

While other larger banks prioritized only the largest PPP loans in favor of larger fees, more than 72 percent of NBAZ loans approved were for amounts less than $100,000. More than 70 percent of all loans were made to businesses with 10 employees or fewer, she added.

A recent class-action lawsuit brought about by small-business owners alleges that JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and U.S. Bank prioritized larger loans. According to the filing, which was made in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, each bank “concealed from the public that it was reshuffling the PPP applications it received and prioritizing the applications that would make the bank the most money,”

Since its beginnings in 1984, National Bank of Arizona has taken a personalized approach to banking.

“When a client needs to speak to someone, we are ready to answer the call,” Young said. “This is a distinct difference in how we provide value to customers, with exceptional engagement through our 56-branch network, skilled bankers, digital platform, and customer care centers.”