The economic stimulus package included much-needed relief for businesses of all sizes. For small businesses specifically, the bill included a “Paycheck Protection Program” to provide small businesses with forgivable loans to keep their employees on the payroll and pay for everyday expenses, like rent and utility payments. Here are answers to frequently asked questions about the Paycheck Protection Program, courtesy of the Senate Small Business Committee.
Small Business Relief in Coronavirus Legislation – FAQ
When is the application deadline for the Paycheck Protection Program?
Applicants are eligible to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program loan until June 30th, 2020.
Where can I apply for the Paycheck Protection Program?
You can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) at any lending institution that is approved to participate in the program through the existing U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) lending program and additional lenders approved by the Department of Treasury. This could be the bank you already use, or a bank or credit union near you. You do not have to visit any government institution to apply for the program. Just call your bank or find SBA-approved lenders at SBA.gov
Who is eligible for the loan?
You are eligible for a loan if you are a small business that employs 500 employees or fewer, or if your business is in an industry that has an employee-based size standard through SBA that is higher than 500 employees. In addition, if you are a restaurant, hotel, or a business that falls within the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 72, “Accommodation and Food Services,” and each of your locations has 500 employees or fewer, you are eligible. Tribal businesses, 501(c)(19) veteran organizations, and 501(c)(3) nonprofits, including religious organizations, will be eligible for the program. Independently owned franchises with under 500 employees, who are approved by SBA, are also eligible.
I am an independent contractor or gig economy worker, am I eligible?
Yes. Sole proprietors, independent contractors, gig economy workers, and self-employed individuals are all eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program.
What is the maximum amount I can borrow?
The amount any small business is eligible to borrow is 250 percent of their average monthly payroll expenses, up to a total of $10 million. This amount is intended to cover 8 weeks of payroll expenses and any additional amounts for making payments towards debt obligations. This 8 week period may be applied to any time frame between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. Seasonal business expenses will be measured using a 12-week period beginning February 15, 2019, or March 1, 2019, whichever the seasonal employer chooses.
How can I use the money to ensure the loan will be forgiven?
The amount that may be forgiven is equal to the total expenses for payroll, and existing interest payments on mortgages, rent payments, leases, and utility service agreements. Payroll costs include employee salaries (up to an annual rate of pay of $100,000), hourly wages and cash tips, paid sick or medical leave, and group health insurance premiums.
When is the loan forgiven?
The loan is forgiven at the end of the 8-week period after you take out the loan. Borrowers will work with lenders to verify covered expenses and the proper amount of forgiveness.
What is the covered period of the loan?
The covered period extends from February 15, 2020 to June 30, 2020. Borrowers can choose which 8 weeks they want to count towards the covered period, which can start as early as February 15, 2020.
How much of my loan will be forgiven?
The purpose of the Paycheck Protection Program is to help you retain your employees, at their current base pay. If you keep all of your employees, the portion of the loan used for payroll and other covered expenses will be forgiven. If you still lay off employees, the forgiveness will be reduced by the percent decrease in the number of employees. If your total payroll expenses on workers making less than $100,000 annually decreases by more than 25 percent, loan forgiveness will be reduced by the same amount. If you have already laid off some employees, you can still be forgiven for the full amount of your payroll cost if you rehire your employees by June 30, 2020.