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Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans – Deadline Extensions Pending and Looking Ahead

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The Berntson Porter team has been and continues to closely follow developments related to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans and pushing out pertinent information via our BP Blasts. The PPP program started in April with exceptionally high demand for funds available to small businesses (less than 500 employees) to keep workers employed through the pandemic. The first round of $349 billion, released on April 3rd was exhausted quickly, which led to another $310 billion being authorized in a second tranche of funds, which was available through June 30th. At the end of June, over $130 billion of funding remains available.

In a surprise move on June 30th, the Senate voted to extend the PPP application window another 5 weeks, until August 8th. The House of Representatives passed the extension bill by unanimous consent on July 1st, and the bill now heads to the President, who is expected to sign shortly.

In the past weeks, demand for PPP loans has decreased, and some banks have ceased to accept applications. It is possible that the extension will lead banks to open up their application portals again. As a result, Fintech lenders could be a good option for companies who have not yet obtained a PPP loan.

The BP team remains available to consult on questions related to loan applications.

We recognize that many businesses affected by COVID-19 have already secured a PPP loan, and in many cases, have already planned for and utilized their funds under the original 8-week covered period. The PPP Flexibility Act bill that was passed provided much-needed flexibility for borrowers by allowing a 24-week covered period, and decreasing the requirement for the amount to be used on payroll costs from 75% to 60% of the loan amount. This will greatly increase the potential for full loan forgiveness for many companies.

As many companies reach the end of their covered period, loan forgiveness is the next step in the process. Companies should continue to maintain excellent internal records and documentation of need for the PPP funds. Although loan forgiveness applications have been released, including an EZ form for those borrowers who have not reduced payroll or employee counts, many questions still remain.

It is important to note that banks are currently NOT accepting forgiveness applications, and it is our understanding that it will be at least a couple more weeks until forgiveness applications will start to be accepted. We appreciate the urgency felt by borrowers to obtain forgiveness as quickly as possible. Companies have until 10 months after the end of their covered period to complete and submit forgiveness applications to their lender. As always, check with your lender on what their process will be on applying for forgiveness.

We have been advised by the AICPA that there are an additional 20+ FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions, which have provided more guidance) pending from the SBA/Treasury related to questions that have come up from borrowers, lenders and CPA practitioners on the forgiveness process. From these, it is likely there will be additional revisions to existing loan forgiveness calculators, as well as the official loan forgiveness applications. BP will continue to monitor for developments and send out additional BP Blasts.

The BP team is available for loan forgiveness services. Please contact your BP representative for additional information on how we can assist your business in the forgiveness process.

Additionally, the BP team continues to look ahead to potential developments related to PPP. Note that these items are NOT a guarantee and would require new legislation. Below is a sampling of potential future developments:

  • PPP 2.0 – It is speculated that there could be a future release of PPP funds later this summer, which would available to companies who have already taken and spent a PPP loan. Any new round of funds would likely have much greater restrictions and criteria on eligibility, such as a significant revenue decline.
  • A group of senators have introduced The Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act. This Act would forgive PPP loans of $150,000 or less if the borrower submits a one-page attestation form to the lender.

Berntson Porter is here to help businesses navigate these unprecedented times. Visit our Resource Center for up-to-date information about COVID-19 legislation that impacts you and your business.