(From an eblast I sent on April 3, 2020)
Seriously, I started this message yesterday morning. Every time I was ready to push the send button, there was another update or change from the government regarding the PPP loan, which meant my information was incorrect. I was literally watching yesterday's press conference when Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin announced the interest rate for the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) was increased from .5% to 1% (still a smoking deal.) Then, late yesterday, the allowance for 1099 contractors to be included in the payroll calculations was removed. Now, there is a question if Owner's Draws are allowed.
The PPP loan application process has technically opened to receiving applications as of the morning. However, very few banks are ready. They have needed to create and then update their forms as often as I have updated this email.
The bottom line is that there are still several unknowns. And, we won't know for sure what the rules are until we see the application from whatever bank we are using to apply. Each bank will have its own form/application.
I suggest you follow the advice I gave you a few days ago and contact your business bank TODAY (if you haven't already done so) to see if you are eligible to apply. For example, most banks will not allow applicants who were not customers as of February 1, 2020. Bank of America announced today that only existing customers who have both a business banking account AND a B of A business credit card are eligible.
For more details on the latest requirements, I urge you to read the following documents that I pulled straight from the US Department of the Treasury's website:
Assistance for Small Businesses
The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.
Small businesses and eligible non-profit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.
The information changes by the hour, so I will send updates as soon as they are announced. Also, the "Final Borrower Application Form" referenced above is just an example; again, your bank will have their own forms. Know that you will need to begin preparing the financial documents to send them...especially the payroll calculations. We need to wait to see the time frame your bank is asking for...some want the 12 month average from 2019; some want March 2019-February 2020. When you call your bank today, ask them if they have decided on the data they want used.
Also, you may have received an email from Quickbooks announcing that they are entering the PPP funding program. I will keep you posted as to when they launch.
From Quickbooks: Important update on the Paycheck Protection ProgramWe're committed to providing the relief you and your clients need. We're working as quickly as possible to launch a simple application and funding process for the Paycheck Protection Program directly within QuickBooks Online. This program is unique—these loans may not have to be repaid if certain eligibility requirements are met. The Paycheck Protection Program is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which consists of $349 billion in government-backed loans to help small businesses maintain their payrolls through June 30, 2020. Be on the lookout for more information about this program in the coming days.
FYI, I am the Introvert in the above meme. :)
Lastly, I want to spend a moment discussing the #STAYINBUSINESS! challenge I discuss in every post. This is your time to decide if your business is worth fighting for. The double threat of this horrible pandemic, plus the economic catastrophe, has many people so emotionally drained that spending their days eating and watching Nexflix is their coping mechanism. I get that. But, this is NOT the time for you to follow that path. I seriously am spending 18 hours a day trying to help my existing clients and random business owners and non-profit leaders navigate this period of time. Nothing frustrates me more than seeing all the negative posts on social media regarding the options that are out there for government assistance.
Here is my take. The government rolled out a $2.2 TRILLION relief package in a week. Were there details missing? Of course. Are edits and changes occurring by the hour? Big fat surprise. But, you know what? I would rather this scenario than waiting months for something to happen. So to you, my smart and savvy clients: Do not sit around complaining. Figure it out. Yes, the PPP may now, with the updates, not be a perfect choice if you have few employees and high overhead. IT WASN'T DESIGNED TO. It is called the Paycheck Protection Program for a reason. To keep employees on the payroll. Other SBA loans are designed to help with the remaining business expenses...like the EIDL. Do your research and apply for the loans that work best for YOUR organization.
So, ignore the noise. (I had to stop engaging on FB yesterday, people seem to be happier complaining about the government, than actually working the system (legitimately and honestly) to find the programs that will help them pay the bills.
Ok, off my soapbox. Please read the information provided in this email, contact your bank, get ready to pull your business formation records, and financial documents, and let's get going.
More emails to come!