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Jake Fowler

The CARES Act—What it Means for the future of Main Street



Bill Phelan, General Manager, PayNet, an Equifax Company
Blake Hanlon, VP, US Government Relations, Equifax


Small businesses have long been a key driver of U.S. economic prosperity. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses have accounted for two-thirds of net job creation since 1995. Moreover, 99.7% of paid employee firms in the U.S. are small businesses, making them an essential and highly influential component of U.S. economic output, employment, and personal prosperity. When this significant growth driver is halted as it has been during the recent COVID-19 outbreak, it has a palpable impact on the economy. Now is the time to prop up small businesses to help get the economy back on track.

The Paycheck Protection Program will provide such much needed relief to countless small businesses.   However, banks are experiencing a high volume of applications complicated by the challenges for lenders and borrowers of navigating a new government program.  It will be critical for small businesses to get access to these funds as soon as possible to maintain payrolls, meet financial obligations, and survive until movement restrictions can be eased. A more streamlined process to quickly and efficiently fund legitimate loan applicants will not only provide safeguards that loans are going to verified businesses but will also keep businesses running and people employed. Most importantly, faster funding and forgiveness mean accelerated relief for small businesses across the American economy.


  1. Managing through the economic downturn.
  2. What the CARES Act means for our Small Businesses and our economy.
  3. Solutions to support loan forgiveness processing for the “portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first eight weeks of payroll costs, rent, utilities, and mortgage interest.” Includes: Payroll file, number of employees and dollar amount of payroll and Utility payment data.


  1. Better understanding of how data can streamline the loan application and funding process.
  2. Learning how to implement quicker loan forgiveness processing, which will further support small businesses and the economy.
  3. Learning how an integrated process can ensure that only verified businesses receive loans.

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Bill Phelan

General Manager, Paynet, an Equifax Company

Bill Phelan co-founded PayNet in 2000 with the belief that when commercial lenders are assured of risks, they’re more likely to make credit available, unlocking opportunity for small businesses. PayNet merged with Equifax in April 2019, a move that created the premier set of data on the private credit market in the U.S. and Canada. As SVP & General Manager, Bill oversees the Commercial Services business. He has served on several boards including ELFA, Canadian Finance and Lease Association, Innovative Lenders Platform Association and the Federal Reserve Bank’s Advisory Council on Agriculture, Small Business, and Labor. He is a member of the Small Business Council at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Blake Hanlon

VP, US Government Relations, Equifax

Blake Hanlon joined Equifax in August 2018 as Vice President, U.S. Government Relations, overseeing federal and state policy advocacy.  Prior to Equifax, he served government relations roles with OneMain Financial, Best Buy, HSBC, the National Association of Home Builders and American Bankers Association.  From 2004-2007, he served in President George W. Bush Administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor.  He has a Master's degree from The George Washington University and is a proud graduate of Texas A&M University.  He resides in Atlanta with his wife and three children.


04/23/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)  |  60 minutes
04/23/2020 at 1:00 PM (EDT)  |  60 minutes