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How we automated round two of PPP in a weekend

By Anvil Staff

Anvil and Sunrise Banks continued our partnership to deliver automated lending solution for small businesses in under 2 days.

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How we automated round two of PPP in a weekend

Good intentions for a more equitable round of PPP

On Friday, January 8th, the SBA announced that the most recent round of PPP loans would be available to lenders the very next business day. Initially, the loans would be limited to applicants applying through Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), community lenders focused on underserved communities. By limiting lenders to CDFIs, the SBA intended to address criticism about the lack of access to funds by small and minority-owned businesses during round one of the PPP loans. In round one of the PPP, the major banks overloaded the SBA lending system, shutting out smaller lenders that traditionally worked closely with small, community-oriented businesses.

Implementing a new loan process with limited time and unclear guidance

Many CDFIs spent the weekend scrambling to seize the opportunity and get a head start on their larger banking counterparts. Unfortunately, many will not succeed. Without the technology and operations infrastructure to scale up a new loan process quickly, the majority of CDFIs may struggle to serve their borrowers. In the best case, borrowers will fumble their way through a confusing loan process; in the worst case, they may never receive the support they need to make it through the recession. On top of the challenge to deploy quickly, it is critical to have a technology solution that combines air-tight synchronization of systems with the flexibility to adapt to new rules and workflows, as the SBA is known for constantly changing guidelines and revisions. Most technology offers one or the other, but not both.

The Sunrise Banks solution, powered by Anvil

Contrast this with Sunrise Banks, who successfully partnered with Anvil to deliver a clean, personalized borrower experience and an end-to-end automated process for preparing and submitting applications to the SBA in time for the opening of the new round of PPP. Building off an existing integration between Anvil, Microsoft Power Apps, and Sunrise’s core banking system, along with an agile development process, Sunrise and Anvil built, tested, and deployed a solution for the even more complex round two in just one weekend. When other banks were told by their technology vendors they would need a week or more to begin deploying a round two solution, Anvil and Sunrise were open for small businesses all across America.

Here is the personalized, guided PPP 2 solution we built together:

  1. Personalized Lead Generation
    The elegant solution begins with a single link posted to Sunrise Bank’s website and shared over marketing emails ( Borrowers are asked to complete a short questionnaire to determine which Draw they are applying for; Draw 1 for a first time PPP loan application or an adjustment to an existing PPP loan, or Draw 2 for a second PPP loan application. This questionnaire helps Sunrise generate a personalized Anvil link for PPP loan applicants to efficiently complete the application process.

  2. Borrower Application
    Borrowers receive a personalized, password-protected link to complete their PPP application. Applicant information is pre-populated into the workflow, including any previous PPP loan information. Each response drives the experience, dynamically displaying only the relevant questions and automatic calculations eliminate human error. Once an application is complete, Anvil selects the correct PPP PDF form, populates each field, and requests e-signatures, before submitting to Sunrise for loan review. Meanwhile, the Sunrise team is able to monitor incoming applications via the Anvil Dashboard and assist customers with any questions as they arise.

  3. The Power App.
    When an application is submitted, the Sunrise Microsoft Power App receives a notification from Anvil’s API. The Power App then fetches the completed and signed PPP loan application, all of the supporting documents, and all of the collected data in a machine-readable format, ready to be stored in an internal database and synced to the Sunrise core banking system.

  4. Lender Application
    A Sunrise loan officer reviews each borrower’s application in the custom Microsoft Power Application. When a loan is ready for approval, a unique link allows the loan officer to start a pre-populated Anvil workflow for completing the lender PPP application (Form 2484) Similar to the borrower application, only the pertinent questions and information relating to the borrower are displayed. From the same Anvil workflow, the lender generates completed applications and e-signatures. The data and documents are now ready to be submitted to the SBA for further processing.

All workflows are mobile-friendly—in the first round of PPP, 75% of Sunrise borrowers worked on their applications from mobile devices.

Why are we so proud of this work?

  • Sunrise is one of the first lenders to accept and begin processing round two PPP loans.
  • Sunrise bankers were able to spend time on the phone and on email, answering questions about the program itself and not the application process.
  • All data is automatically mapped between workflows, shared with Sunrise’s core banking system, and submitted to the SBA portal.
  • Anvil was able to work with one of the country’s leading CDFIs to deliver much-awaited economic assistance to small businesses most in need.
  • Sunrise Banks received nearly 1,000 lead generation submissions by Tuesday evening, before second draw applications were even open.


“Our experience was great. We found the tool to be very user friendly and everything was very well explained and/or displayed. The ease of attaching and removing files was excellent. Other applicants should find it very helpful in their submissions.”
Sunrise Banks Customer

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