Help for Small Businesses

As a small business owner, I know this time is particularly challenging for our small businesses trying to pay employees and stay afloat. 

The Paycheck Protection Program has supported 

  • 84% of small business employees,
  • 51 million jobs, and
  • approved more than 4.9 million loans.

In Florida, 3.2 million jobs and an estimated 96% of small business payrolls were saved by this program! This data shows that the PPP is working and helping small businesses during the pandemic.

Updated Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Terms 

The Small Business Administration is accepting applications for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans until May 31, 2021. Expanded eligibility includes nonprofits and digital news services, as well as allowing sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support by revising the PPP’s funding formula for these categories. $15 billion is set aside specific for low and moderate income businesses who haven't previously received a PPP loan.

The bipartisan COVID-19 relief package signed into law December 28, 2020, provides an additional $285.4 billion for the successful Paycheck Protection Program. Additionally, small businesses who previously received a PPP loan may be eligible for a second loan, up to $2 million, if they have experienced a revenue reduction of 25%. The bill also allows small businesses who have not yet received a PPP loan to apply and allows small business loan recipients to deduct PPP expenses. Click here for more information.

Updated terms of the PPP expand the eligible businesses. Housing cooperations, newpapers, broadcasters, radio stations, destination marketing organizations and 501 c6s businesses will now be able to apply for PPP loans. Greater flexibility in how loan money is used is also included in the new bill. 

If you’re a business owner that has been unable to apply, please let me know here: bit.ly/sbizstory

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) Update 12/21/2020

The new COVID relief package provides $20 billion for the restart of the SBA’s EIDL grant program in low income communities. Additionally, existing grantees who received less than the $10,000 maximum EIDL grant will be able to apply for the difference in what the received and the $10,000 maximum.

Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application

A new, streamlined loan forgiveness application is now available for small businesses that received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan! This application can be used by small businesses that received a loan of $50,000 or less.

  • Click here to download the new application.
  • For information about completing the forgiveness application, click here.

This new application simplifies the forgiveness process and strengthens protections to prevent fraud or misuse of funds. Through this action, the Trump administration carries out Congressional intent and keeps its promise to small businesses and American workers. The PPP has been a tremendous success, and this new application is another tool to help small businesses get through this unprecedented time.

About the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

On June 5th, President Trump signed H.R. 7010 the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act into law. Initially proposed by Rep. Chip Roy, the bill passed the House and Senate with wide support and gives small business owners more individual discretion in using their PPP loan money. The bill:

  • Allowed recipients of loan forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Program to defer payroll taxes.
  • Lowered current requirement that 75% of a loan be used on payroll to 60%. The remaining 40% can be used for other expenses including paying rent and utilities.
  • Extended the amount of time the loan covers from 8 weeks (2 months) to 24 weeks (6 months) or Dec. 31, whichever comes sooner.
  • Extended from 2 years to 5 years the time allowed to repay any money owed on a loan.
  • Extended deadline to rehire workers from June 30 to Dec. 31, 2020.

Click here or open file at bottom of page for more info.

This program provides 100% federally guaranteed loans for 8 weeks of assistance to small businesses, 501(c)(3) nonprofits, sole-proprietors, independent contractors, and other self-employed individuals also eligible for these loans. 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) 7(a) lending program and additional lenders approved by the Department of Treasury. This could be the bank you already use, or a nearby bank.

  • FAQ on this new program.
  • Click here to search for a local approved lender.
  • Click here for list of vendors by state.
  • Click here for the loan forgiveness application

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program

The SBA has resumed accepting applications from all qualified small-businesses, including U.S. agricultural businesses. All applications are processed first-come, first served. The EIDL provides small businesses with access to capital through an advance of up to $10,000 on the loan to provide covered leave, maintain payroll and pay debt obligations. The full loan can provide up to $2 million in economic assistance to help small businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue resulting from COVID-19.

Visit https://www.sba.gov/page/disaster-loan-applications for more information and to apply.  

Entrepreneurial Development Programs

This SBA program provides grants and funding to offer training, counseling, and assistance to small businesses affected by COVID-19. The grants will flow through the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) and can be used by STEP participants to be reimbursed for events canceled due to COVID-19, as long as the reimbursement does not exceed federal grant amount.

An FAQ on SBA programs has also been provided by the Small Business Committee.  For additional details, guidance and resources from the SBA on how to help your small business during this pandemic, please visit this link.

Additional assistance includes:

  • Protections for Small Business Contractors: 
Federal agencies are required to extend contract performance periods and promptly pay small business contractors impacted by COVID-19.
  • Debt Relief

For six months, SBA is required to pay all principal, interest and fees on all existing SBA loan products including 7(a), Community Advantage, 504, and Microloan programs.  The Cares Act provided another $3.5 billion for debt relief. 

  • Access to Capital

More information will be coming from SBA and Department of Treasury on accessing the capital provided under the CARES Act. Contacting your local lender will be fastest way to receive further information.

  • CDC Guidance for Small Business:

The CDC has also put together guidance for small business owners to help slow the spread of COVID-19, assist in keeping their workplace disinfected and clean as well as best practices on social distancing.

  • Personalized Assistance

If you or your business needs personalized assistance, guidance or help, I encourage you to reach out to your local SBA office or Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC.) These offices can provide you and your small business with free counseling and advice, explanations of your loan options, and disaster preparedness plans.

    • Click Here for small business preparedness and recovery resources from SBDC FL
    • Click Here to find your local SBA office.

FAQ

What can I use the loan amount for?

- Payroll costs
- Group health care benefits
- Employee salaries
- Interest on any mortgage obligation
- Rent
- Utilities
- And any other debt obligations that occurred before Feb. 15, 2020.

Where can I get this loan?
- Any existing SBA lenders and any lenders that are brought into the program through the
Treasury.
- You should talk to your preferred financial lender to see if you qualify.

How long will it take to receive the money?
- The SBA has authorized lenders to process, close, and service loans without SBA approval,
giving you the means to invest in your business immediately.

What if I can’t pay it back?
- First, all payment on principle, interest, and fees will be automatically deferred for six months.
- Second, for businesses that retain their staff up until June 30, 2020, this loan will be forgiven.

Will a borrower’s PPP loan forgiveness amount (pursuant to section 1106 of the CARES Act and SBA’s implementing rules and guidance) be reduced if the borrower laid off an employee, offered to rehire the same employee, but the employee declined the offer?

Answer: No. As an exercise of the Administrator’s and the Secretary’s authority under Section 1106(d)(6) of the CARES Act to prescribe regulations granting de minimis exemptions from the Act’s limits on loan forgiveness, SBA and Treasury intend to issue an interim final rule excluding laid-off employees whom the borrower offered to rehire (for the same salary/wages and same number of hours) from the CARES Act’s loan forgiveness reduction calculation. The interim final rule will specify that, to qualify for this exception, the borrower must have made a good faith, written offer of rehire, and the employee’s rejection of that offer must be documented by the borrower. Employees and employers should be aware that employees who reject offers of re-employment may forfeit eligibility for continued unemployment compensation.

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