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Recapping the EBA Risk Management Call on SBA Relief Programs

Tuesday, April 14, 2020   (0 Comments)


On Wednesday April 8, 2020, the Environmental Bankers Association (EBA), Risk Management Call hosted SBA’s Julie Clowes, District Director – San Francisco District to talk about the vibrant SBA programs: PPP, Bridge, Debt Relief, Deferment and more!  Member questions during the call included: Will there be a wave of work-outs or foreclosures? Will the SBA be making additional waves of lending available? The call was hosted by EBA Risk Management Co-Chairs: Michael Cole of Truist Bank and Dennis P. Firestone of CBRE.
Julie is the District Director of SBA’s San Francisco District Office (SFDO) where she oversees delivery of SBA’s programs and services within 14 counties in Northern California.  Prior to joining the SFDO she was the Deputy District Director of SBA’s Washington Metropolitan Area District Office overseeing the largest 8(a) portfolio in the country with approximately 1,000 firms receiving $4-6 billion in contracts annually. Prior to joining the district office she was the chief marketing and outreach attorney with the SBA’s Office of General Counsel handling issues impacting SBA’s outreach efforts including external agency partnerships, technology and use of social media.  She began her SBA career as the Public Affairs Specialist for the Michigan District Office.  Prior to joining SBA she spent three years with the Michigan Small Business Development Center as an International Trade Specialist where she co-authored “Trade Secrets: The Export Answer Book.”  Julie is a graduate of the Excellence in Government Fellowship program and President’s Management Council Fellowship program and has a BA in International Studies from Bradley University, Peoria, IL and an MBA and JD from Wayne State University, Detroit, MI.  Julie is also volunteers for many colon cancer advocacy initiatives and helped establish the Scope It Out 5K Run/Walk for colon cancer awareness in Washington DC and currently is a Board member of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.


The SBA Environmental Committee provided the following in response to additional participant questions regarding Virtual Site Reconnaissance & New York's Stay At Home Order:

  1. Please allow this e-mail to confirm that SBA will accept virtual site reconnaissance in Phase I reports in various formats, provided the environmental professional who prepared the report is comfortable with it.  There may be certain properties, however, where virtual site reconnaissance may not be appropriate.  For example, an environmental professional may not be comfortable with omitting a physical site visit for a heavily industrial property, and SBA may well share that level of discomfort for certain properties.  The nature of the property will have some bearing on what type of reconnaissance (virtual vs. physical) may be acceptable.  To date, our environmental engineers in our Sacramento Loan Processing Center have not received any Phase I reports using virtual reconnaissance, so it is difficult to know at this early juncture what types will or will not be acceptable to the agency.  That said, as we stated during the EBA call on March 25th, SBA takes the position that any necessary information that cannot be obtained by an environmental professional in a Phase I report due to COVID-19 concerns or restrictions should be addressed as a data gap, and the environmental professional should use his or her best efforts to overcome that data gap.  Please note that, as always, if a lender believes that an exception to the SBA’s environmental policies and procedures is warranted, they can provide a copy of the report(s) they have obtained, with their rationale for seeking an exception, to  We evaluate all requests for exceptions to policy on a case-by-case basis and make a risk-based determination for exceptions.

  2. We are unable to offer an opinion as to whether Phase 1 reports for lenders and purchasers fall within the specified exemption to New York’s stay-at-home order.  Those are all a matter of state and local directives and not within SBA’s domain.
    Should you or your members have any additional questions, please feel free to forward them and we will do our best to answer them as quickly as possible.
    SBA Environmental Committee
    U. S. Small Business Administration


The following links and contact information was also provided:

1. SBA has received numerous questions and is working to find answers to all of them. To help streamline this process, there is a new inbox to send your questions to:

2. The E-Tran Lender Hotline is up and running. For any E-Tran or CAFS related inquiries call: 833-572-0502.

3. With regards to the PPP, the Agency has provided the following guidance: