CARES for El Paso

To date, WestStar is processing over $250 million in forgivable SBA loans for El Paso and Las Cruces businesses and non-profit organizations, helping to preserve over 41,000 jobs in our communities.
These figures represent even more to us. They symbolize hundreds of local businesses that will be able to keep their doors open and thousands of employees who will be paid. They represent families, friends, and neighbors who will have one less thing to be concerned about during this unprecedented time. Most importantly, these figures represent our commitment to keeping our region's economy moving forward.
These figures also represent a lifeline for numerous non-profit organizations in our community. Trying to maintain a focus on their missions in the wake of current events, these organizations grapple with both an increasing need for services and prolonged economic challenges. We take pride in having provided many of El Paso's non-profits access to the funds they need to continue their journey.
Throughout our bank's 30-year history, the Borderplex region has seen many ups and downs, and we have learned it is in the most challenging times when businesses, clients, and our communities need us the most. And now, we stand ready to assist El Paso businesses navigate through this current situation, together.

SBA Paycheck Protection Program

Am I eligible?

You are eligible if you are a:

  • A small business with fewer than 500 employees
  • A small business that otherwise meets the SBA's size standard
  • A 501(c)(3) with fewer than 500 employees
  • An individual who operates as a sole proprietor, independent contractor, or self-employed who carries on any trade or business (and does not earn more than $100,000 per year).
  • A Tribal business concern that meets the SBA size standard


All businesses – including nonprofits, veterans’ organizations, Tribal business concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors – with 500 or fewer employees can apply. Businesses in certain industries can have more than 500 employees if they meet applicable SBA employee-based size standards for those industries. REMEMBER: The 500-employee threshold includes all employees: full-time, part-time, and any other status.


For this program, the SBA’s affiliation standards are waived for small businesses (1) in the hotel and food services industries; or (2) that are franchises in the SBA’s Franchise Directory; or (3) that receive financial assistance from small business investment companies licensed by the SBA.


What will lenders look for?

In evaluating eligibility, lenders are directed to consider whether the borrower was in operation before February 15, 2020 and had employees for whom they paid salaries and payroll costs (excludes payroll taxes) or paid independent contractors. You will need to complete the Paycheck Protection Program loan application and submit the application with the required documentation to an approved lender that is available to process your application by June 30, 2020.


Lenders will not look for either collateral or a personal guarantee are required for the loan. However, if the proceeds are used for fraudulent purposes, the U.S. government will pursue criminal charges against you.


Lenders will also ask you for a good faith certification and supporting documentation (to include payroll documentation). If you are an independent contractor, sole proprietor, or self-employed individual, lenders will also be looking for certain documents (final requirements will be announced by the government) such as payroll tax filings, Forms 1099-MISC, and income and expenses from the sole proprietorship.


 As part of your application, you need to certify in good faith that:

  • Current economic uncertainty makes the loan necessary to support your ongoing
  • The funds will be used to retain workers and maintain payroll or to make mortgage, lease, and utility
  • You have not and will not receive another loan under this
  • You will provide to the lender documentation that verifies the number of full-time equivalent employees on payroll and the dollar amounts of payroll costs, covered mortgage interest payments, covered rent payments, and covered utilities for the eight weeks after getting this loan.
  • Loan forgiveness will be provided for the sum of documented payroll costs, covered mortgage interest payments, covered rent payments, and covered
  • All the information you provided in your application and in all supporting documents and forms is true and accurate. Knowingly making a false statement to get a loan under this program is punishable by
  • You acknowledge that the lender will calculate the eligible loan amount using the tax documents you submitted. You affirm that the tax documents are identical to those you submitted to the IRS. And you also understand, acknowledge, and agree that the lender can share the tax information with the SBA’s authorized representatives, including authorized representatives of the SBA Office of Inspector General, for the purpose of compliance with SBA Loan Program Requirements and all SBA
LENDERS WILL NOT LOOK FOR: Neither collateral or a personal guarantee are required for the loan.
*excludes payroll taxes.

How much can I borrow?

  • Loans can be up to 2.5x the borrower's average monthly payroll cost, not to exceed $10 million.
  • For non-seasonal employers: 2.5x average total monthly payroll costs incurred during the year prior to the loan date. For businesses not operational in 2019, 2.5x average total monthly payroll costs incurred for January and February 2020.
  • Seasonal employers: 2.5x average total monthly payments for payroll costs for the 12-week period beginning February 15, 2019 or March 1, 2019 (decided by the loan recipient) and ending June 30, 2019.
  • If you are a seasonal or new business, you will use different applicable time periods for your calculation. Payroll costs will be capped at $100,000 annualized for each employee.

What can it be used for?

You should use the proceeds from these loans for:

Payroll Costs


Salaries, wages, commissions, cash tips or equivalent, vacation, and sick pay (up to $100,000 annualized pay per employee)

  • Group health insurance
  • Retirement contributions
  • State/local taxes paid by the employer (such as unemployment insurance premiums)
  • Self-employed and subcontractor income (not to exceed $100,000 per year)

Interest on Mortgage(s) (not principal) (incurred before February 15, 2020)

Rent (including rent under a lease agreement) (in force before February 15, 2020)

Utilities (under service agreements dated before February 15, 2020)

  • Electricity, gas, water, transportation, telephone, or internet access.

(The utilities calculation for self-employed borrowers is limited to those utilities claimed as a deduction on the 2019 Form 1040 Schedule C.)

Interest on Any Other Debt Obligations (incurred before February 15, 2020)


Can this loan be forgiven?

A borrower is eligible for loan forgiveness equal to the amount the borrower spent on the following items during the 8-week period beginning on the date of the origination of the loan.

  • Payroll costs
  • Interest on the mortgage obligation incurred in the ordinary course of business
  • Rent on a leasing agreement
  • Payments on utilities (electricity, gas, water, transportation, telephone, or internet)
  • For borrowers with tipped employees, additional wages paid to those employees


The amount of loan forgiveness can be up to the full principal amount of the loan and any accrued interest provided funds are used for covered expenses. The loan forgiveness cannot exceed the principal.


At least 75% of the loan forgiveness amount must be attributed to payroll costs. Not more than 25% of the loan forgiveness amount may be attributable to non-payroll costs.


You will owe money when your loan is due if you use the loan amount for anything other than payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities payments over the 8 weeks after getting the loan.


You will also owe money if you do not maintain your staff and payroll.

  • Number of Staff: Your loan forgiveness will be reduced if you decrease your full-time employee
  • Level of Payroll: Your loan forgiveness will also be reduced if you decrease salaries and wages by more than 25% for any employee that made less than $100,000 annualized in 2019.
  • Re-Hiring: You have until June 30, 2020 to restore your full-time employment and salary levels for any changes made between February 15, 2020 and April 26,