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How No-Code Made the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Possible

PPP, Cares Act, no-code, small business lending

In record time, Unqork delivered complex applications to support the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Here’s how we did it.


The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally changed the way people live and work. Many businesses were forced to close their doors during the first wave of lockdowns, and people with positions ill-suited for remote work were furloughed or lost their jobs. To date, over 40 million Americans are unemployed. To offer relief to those financially affected by COVID-19, Congress passed the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law on March 27, 2020. 

Businesses across all industries have been similarly devastated by COVID-19, but small businesses face particular challenges. Many, if not most, SMBs haven’t had the means to implement a robust digital transformation that would have made the transition to remote work easier, which sent shockwaves throughout their operations. To help mitigate some of these challenges, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was created—a program providing loans to small businesses as a direct incentive to keep workers on their payroll. 

The PPP was an urgently needed solution, but rolling out such an ambitious economic relief program on such a large scale and on such a short timeline presented some obstacles. Here’s how Unqork helped deliver complex applications that supported the PPP in record time.  

The Challenge

The PPP was an incredible undertaking by any estimation, from the number of businesses that applied to the amount of money that was distributed. The fact that it was a federal program with constantly evolving requirements made this an even greater challenge to pull off. The PPP also required a remarkably quick turnaround time—lenders had just two weeks after the passage of the CARES Act to roll out the program.

With businesses around the country relying on these loans to stay afloat and keep their employees on payroll, urgency was at the heart of these operations.

Watch a demo of Unqork's Small Business Lending solution in action.

Lenders were met with a deluge of loan requests as soon as the PPP was announced—in many cases, lenders received thousands of applications within the first 24 hours. It would have been impossible to process the sheer volume of loans manually, so it was clear from the start that a digital approach was necessary. However, building a solution of this scale using a traditional code-based approach would take anywhere from 18 months to two years. Short on time and with thousands of businesses counting on them, banks and tech leaders turned to emerging technologies like no-code for a solution.   

How No-Code Was Uniquely Equipped to Help

Digital apps supporting the PPP needed to have an intuitive user interface for small businesses to apply and submit documentation; robust back-office processing features including underwriting, reviews, and approvals; and an integrated method for submitting applications to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for loan guarantees. Relying on code for all this would be quite a tall order.

Despite the tight timelines and expansive scale, no-code was able to deliver what code could not. Using modular building and a visual interface, Unqork teamed up with Deloitte to deliver complex applications that delivered on all the requirements of the PPP program. “Deloitte offers an all-inclusive managed services solution based on [our platform],” said Rabih Ramadi, Unqork's Head of Financial Services said in a recent story in Silicon Angle. “The bank simply handles approvals. We built and launched the PPP application in one week.”

Unqork’s robust no-code platform meant that teams could build systems on the fly, adapt to changing federal requirements, and offer financial support to businesses and their employees when they needed it the most.

The success of these PPP builds with no-code isn’t just an incredible example of what no-code can do—it’s a wake-up call for the commercial banking industry as a whole. 

What This Means for the Future of Banking

The success of these PPP builds with no-code isn’t just an incredible example of what no-code can do—it’s a wake-up call for the commercial banking industry as a whole. Ramadi predicts that banks will only expect more digitization as time goes on, and the business of financial services digitization will quadruple overnight. 

In this way, PPP supports a group of underserved customers while also setting an exciting precedent for the future of digital applications in any vertical. If no-code could make the PPP possible for banks, similar large-scale projects are possible for any enterprise—the work we’ve done with our partners is living proof.

As true champions of no-code, our work with the Paycheck Protection Program only confirms what we already knew. Digital resilience will be key in the coming years, and the post-pandemic “new normal” doesn’t have to include multi-month enterprise application development projects. 


About the Author

Michael Schnitker is an Account Development Representative with Unqork who is dedicated to empowering enterprises through the power of no-code. Want to learn more about where—and how—no-code can be applied at your organization? Connect with Michael on <a href="" target="_blank">LinkedIn</a> or <a href="">shoot him an email</a>.

Profile Photo of Michael Schnitker