Synovus Bank said it’s processed and approved about 18,000 Paycheck Protection Program loans totaling $2.9 billion as of Tuesday.

That includes about 390 loans totaling more than $35 million in Newton and Walton counties.

The loans were made possible by a federal government stimulus program due to the sudden slowdown of the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Columbus-based Synovus processed about 8,300 loans worth $2 billion between April 3-16, when the first round of funding was exhausted, and processed about 9,800 loans worth $900 million beginning April 27 after the restoration of federal funding.

The loans passing through Synovus will support businesses that employ more than 335,000 people in five states.

“Small businesses are the foundation of the U.S. economy and Synovus is proud to have served so many customers and communities through our participation in the Paycheck Protection Program,” Kessel D. Stelling, chairman and CEO of Synovus, said.

“Even before the official launch of PPP on April 3, hundreds of Synovus team members began working diligently, proactively communicating with customers early and often to ensure timely documentation, processing, underwriting and funding of PPP applications.”

The bank said 70% of its loans were for $100,000 or less, and 35% were for less than $25,000.

“Although no one is happy about the circumstances that made PPP necessary, it has been incredibly rewarding to help so many of our longtime customers and local businesses,” Synovus Market President Meredith Malcom, who’s based in Monroe, said.

“Strong communities have strong banks, and we are proud and grateful to be here for Walton and Newton counties.”

In Georgia, Synovus made 7,918 loans averaging $148,754 and totaling $1.18 billion.

Synovus has locations in downtown Monroe and on Atlanta Highway in Loganville.