On Friday, April 24, President Trump signed a bill giving $484 billion in aid to small businesses, with an additional $310 allocated to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This means that the loan program will open again after a recent stall, replenished with funds to fill pending loan applications and possibly fund new applications.
The new injection of funds can act as a lifeline for another group of small businesses who missed getting PPP loans processed while the program was in operation from April 3-16.
The program’s first, $350 billion wave of funding resulted in the processing of 1.6 million loans. This round of funding is smaller, meaning the majority of the country’s 30 million small businesses will remain without PPP loans.
The Treasury Department has also issued new guidance aimed at some PPP loan recipients — namely large, public companies that accessed millions of PPP dollars — to prove they need loans to continue operations. The new guidelines will result in some companies returning funds to the program, however, the ultimate amount is unknown.
What if I’ve already applied for a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program but haven’t gotten money yet?
In the PPP, financial institutions like private banks accept loan applications. However, the federal government’s Small Business Administration (SBA) must approve your application before your bank hands over the cash, explains the Washington Post.
The SBA stopped processing loan applications when the PPP ran out of funds on April 16. It will resume processing them on April 27, per Tweets from SBA leadership.
If you already applied for a PPP loan, hang tight. Unless you want to submit additional loan applications through new lenders, you don’t need to take further action. Your lender (i.e. your bank) will contact you with status updates on your loan.
As of April 16 when the program shut down, banks had hundreds of thousands of loan applications still pending, Politico reports. One large bank told CBS it had tens of thousands awaiting SBA approval.
Can I file a new application for a Paycheck Protection Program loan right now?
Yes. Businesses applying for the first time should contact lenders immediately and submit applications. (Note, however, that not all banks are accepting applications right now.)
Similar to the previous PPP allocation, funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis and will go quickly.
Pro Tip: There is nothing to stop businesses from applying for the PPP through multiple lenders. Many news outlets report that small businesses have had the most success getting loans processed and funded after applying through regional or community banks vs. large ones.
Banks and lenders are handling new applications on a case-by-case basis. Some lenders have paused applications due to a backlog, but others are still accepting new applicants.
Here’s the status of national banks’ application programs. (Note that many are only accepting applications from folks who already bank with them.)
- Wells Fargo is accepting applications for PPP loans from folks who have a business account with Wells Fargo. The bank promises to keep applicants updated via email after they file.
- Citi is also still accepting new applications from existing clients but notes that “in order for PPP applications to be processed, the Small Business Administration must reopen it’s E-Tran System.” It also tells potential applicants they’re not sure to get funds: “... There is no guarantee that your application will be approved by the SBA prior to the funds being fully allocated or that your application will qualify for a PPP loan.”
- Bank of America continues to accept applications from folks with whom it has had checking or lending relationships since Feb 15. Follow-up on applications will “occur online and through email,” the site states.
- Chase Bank isn’t accepting applications right now.
- US Bank isn't accepting applications right now either. “... Our priority now is to continue moving existing PPP applications through the process up to the point of SBA submittal,” says its website.
How likely am I to get a loan?
More often than not, we hear stories from businesses who haven’t seen their money yet.
“... Most borrowers are still waiting for those loans to be funded — and for money to even show up in their accounts,” CBS reported on April 16, as the SBA stopped processing applications.
The government hasn’t reported a number, but stories from both banks and business owners suggest a relatively small number of loan applicants have actually gotten their cash, per the Washington Post.
Is this lack of loans hurting other businesses like it’s hurting mine?
If you’re feeling frustrated and your business is strapped while you wait for a loan, you’re not alone.
One hotelier told CBS that, since filing multiple loan applications for his various properties, just “a small fraction” of the applications have been approved, and none are funded. The owner of three hair salons in the Carolinas got approved for a $107,000 loan but already had to lay off all of his employees.
Some companies have had success, however. Yahoo Finance told the stories of four businesses that have received PPP loans -- ranging from $83,000 to $201,0000 -- and noted that each applied at a small, local bank vs. a larger institution.
If the Paycheck Protection Program doesn’t come through for me, where else can I get a loan?
The federal government doesn’t seem like the best source right now. We recommend consulting our rundown of all resources, including loans and grants from state and city governments, nonprofits and private companies.
What is the Paycheck Protection Program?
Under The CARES Act signed into law on March 27, small businesses in the U.S. have access to $350 billion in loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a new federal loan program designed to help companies and their employees sustain the economic challenges of COVID-19.
The PPP provides low-interest, federally-backed cash-flow assistance in the form of loans to small businesses in the U.S. and its territories. Some important details:
The government will fully forgive the loans “if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities,” says the SBA. In a later note, the SBA added that 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll.
In the event your business does end up being required to repay a portion of its loan, you can get a deferral on loan repayments for a minimum of six months and up to a maximum of one year, per The Tax Foundation.
Businesses with under 500 employees, which include sole proprietorships, independent contractors and others, can apply for PPP loans if their business was or is affected due to COVID-19 between Feb. 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020.
Some of our favorite sources for more basics on PPP loans:
Who is eligible for Paycheck Protection Program loans?
Here are the general eligibility requirements to apply for a PPP loan:
- A business or nonprofit with under 500 employees, or one that meets the SBA’s size standards for a small business
- An individual who operates as a sole proprietor, independent contractor or is self-employed who regularly carries on a trade or business
- A Tribal business that meets SBA size standards
Special additions to the eligibility requirements:
- For accommodation and food service sector, organizations with the NAICS code NAICS 72 (i.e. hotels, restaurants, casinos, restaurants and bars), the “under 500 employee” rule is per location.
- Franchise operators or those that receive financial investment from a Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) are also eligible.
What can I use the loan for?
The loan can be used for the following items:
- Payroll, including salaries, commissions or similar compensations
- Continuing health care benefits
- Mortgage interest payments
- Interest on any other debt obligations
How much money can I get from a Paycheck Protection Program loan?
The size of your potential loan depends on payroll costs. Eligible businesses will get loans of up to 2.5 times their average monthly payroll costs in 2019, up to $10 million. For example, if your payroll costs in 2019 were $10,000 per month, you will get a $25,000 loan (10,000 x 2.5).
There are several online PPP loan calculators that help businesses define estimated loan totals and forgiveness.
When and where do I apply?
Because most large banks are only accepting applications from folks who currently bank with them at this point, we suggest applying for a PPP loan through the firm you usually bank with. You can also visit the SBA’s site to find eligible PPP lenders in your area or use this listing of local lenders that often process SBA 7(a) loans. To determine how to submit your loan application at a local lender, check their website or call them up.
What information do I need to apply?
During the application process with your PPP lender, you’ll need to fill out the Paycheck Protection Program Borrower Application Form.
The simple form should take less than 20 minutes to complete, as long as you have all the required information ready. Here’s what you need:
I. General info
- Business legal name
- Business address
- Business taxpayer identification number (EIN, SSN)
- Primary contact (business phone and email address)
II. Payroll Calculation
- Average monthly payroll
- Number of employees
To see what applies as an eligible payroll expense, review this breakdown from Tax Foundation, a leading independent tax policy nonprofit.