Last week was a busy week for the Paycheck Protection Program. New applications and guidance were released, the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Treasury Department suddenly reversed direction on disclosing information about companies that received loans through the program, and a key program deadline is fast approaching.
Easy as 3508EZ
Filing for Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness just got easier. The Small Business Administration has released a revised, perhaps final, application, including a new EZ application. To qualify for the EZ application you must meet one of these three requirements:
- You are self-employed and have no employees.
- You had employees, but did not reduce their salaries or wages during the covered period by more than 25 percent AND did not reduce the number of hours worked by employees (essentially meeting what’s come to be known as the FTE employee rule).
- You had employees, but did not reduce their salaries or wages during the covered period by more than 25 percent, AND due to complying with essentially shelter-in-place laws during the covered period, you were unable to operate during the covered period at the same level of business that existed before February 15, 2020.
We can see you now
For months, the U.S. Treasury Department and the Small Business Bureau have been resisting calls to disclose details of borrowers to the Paycheck Protection Program. Last week they suddenly changed direction.
The program has been plagued by a series of problems. In the first round of disbursements, it came to light many larger corporations had received substantial loans while smaller companies the program was designed to help had been locked out. Recently, the program has been criticized for lacking transparency. Calls from both sides of the aisles to disclose information on the 4 million recipients of the more than $500 billion loaned so far was initially met with silence.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had stated he believed that information was proprietary and confidential. A bi-partisan panel had been working towards a compromise which led to the decision to have the following information disclosed:
- Business name
- Business type
- Other data of companies
- Loan amount ranges as follows:
- $350,000-1 million
- $1-2 million
- $2-5 million
- $5-10 million
If you haven’t taken advantage of the PPP loan program yet, the window to apply is closing. You have until June 30 to submit a new application. To help businesses connect with lenders, the SBA has reinstated its Lender Match program. The program matches small businesses with nonbank lenders. The SBA reports there’s still $120 billion in funds available to loan.