PPP forgiveness and your business

One of the bigger issues we confront regularly as businesses re-open is the matter of how to make sure PPP loans can remain forgivable. To that end, here are some resources to help you in your quest:

The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the U.S Department of the Treasury, recently released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and detailed instructions for the application.

The form and instructions inform borrowers how to apply for forgiveness of their PPP loans, consistent with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).  SBA will also soon issue regulations and guidance to further assist borrowers as they complete their applications, and to provide lenders with guidance on their responsibilities.

The form and instructions include several measures to reduce compliance burdens and simplify the process for borrowers, including:

  • Options for borrowers to calculate payroll costs using an “alternative payroll covered period” that aligns with borrowers’ regular payroll cycles
  • Flexibility to include eligible payroll and non-payroll expenses paid or incurred during the eight-week period after receiving their PPP loan
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to perform the calculations required by the CARES Act to confirm eligibility for loan forgiveness
  • Borrower-friendly implementation of statutory exemptions from loan forgiveness reduction based on rehiring by June 30
  • Addition of a new exemption from the loan forgiveness reduction for borrowers who have made a good-faith, written offer to rehire workers that was declined

The PPP was created by the CARES Act to provide forgivable loans to eligible small businesses to keep American workers on the payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The documents released today will help small businesses seek forgiveness at the conclusion of the eight-week covered period, which begins with the disbursement of their loans.

Click here to get the application and instructions. Also, click here for an updated FAQ (as of May 13, 2020). One of those questions answered was how SBA will review good-faith certification. Here’s the answer, but check out the entire list for more detail.

Question: How will SBA review borrowers’ required good-faith certification concerning the necessity of their loan request?

Answer: When submitting a PPP application, all borrowers must certify in good faith that “[c]urrent economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant.” SBA, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, has determined that the following safe harbor will apply to SBA’s review of PPP loans with respect to this issue: Any borrower that, together with its affiliates,  received PPP loans with an original principal amount of less than $2 million will be deemed to have made the required certification concerning the necessity of the loan request in good faith.

SBA has determined that this safe harbor is appropriate because borrowers with loans below this threshold are generally less likely to have had access to adequate sources of liquidity in the current economic environment than borrowers that obtained larger loans. This safe harbor will also promote economic certainty as PPP borrowers with more limited resources endeavor to retain and rehire employees. In addition, given the large volume of PPP loans, this approach will enable SBA to conserve its finite audit resources and focus its reviews on larger loans, where the compliance effort may yield higher returns. Those denied larger loans are not out of luck, however. Sambla, a Swedish lender that works with more than 40 banks to provide lenders the lowest interest rate on borrowed capital announced its relief initiative late this week. This initiative aims to work with small businesses who need larger loans than businesses of a similar size are being granted, according to sources familiar with the matter. More information on Sambla’s loans can be found here.

The U.S. Chamber also released a new PPP Guide to Forgiveness, which provides an easy to understand explanation of what businesses need to do to apply for forgiveness of the loan.

We’ll add resources to this as we get them.