Trump signs PPP bill, officials explain changes
President Donald Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza explained the changes to a program that the restaurant industry and some farmers have found difficult to use.
“This bill will provide businesses with more time and flexibility to keep their employees on the payroll and ensure their continued operations as we safely reopen our country. We look forward to getting the American people back to work as quickly as possible,” Mnuchin and Carranza said in a news release.
“SBA, in consultation with treasury, will promptly issue rules and guidance, a modified borrower application form, and a modified loan forgiveness application implementing these legislative amendments to the PPP,” they said.
The modifications will implement the following changes:
• Extend the covered period for loan forgiveness from eight weeks after the date of loan disbursement to 24 weeks after the date of loan disbursement, providing substantially greater flexibility for borrowers to qualify for loan forgiveness. Borrowers who have already received PPP loans retain the option to use an eight-week covered period.
• Lower the requirements that 75% of a borrower’s loan proceeds must be used for payroll costs and that 75% of the loan forgiveness amount must have been spent on payroll costs during the 24-week loan forgiveness covered period, to 60% for each of these requirements
If a borrower uses less than 60% of the loan amount for payroll costs during the forgiveness covered period, the borrower will continue to be eligible for partial loan forgiveness, subject to at least 60% of the loan forgiveness amount having been used for payroll costs.
• Provide a safe harbor from reductions in loan forgiveness based on reductions in full-time equivalent employees for borrowers that are unable to return to the same level of business activity the business was operating at before Feb. 15, due to compliance with requirements or guidance issued between March 1 and Dec. 31, 2020, by the secretary of Health and Human Services, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, related to worker or customer safety requirements related to COVID–19.
• Provide a safe harbor from reductions in loan forgiveness based on reductions in full-time equivalent employees, to provide protections for borrowers that are both unable to rehire individuals who were employees of the borrower on Feb. 15, and unable to hire similarly qualified employees for unfilled positions by Dec. 31, 2020.
• Increase to five years the maturity of PPP loans that are approved by SBA (based on the date SBA assigns a loan number) on or after June 5.
• Extend the deferral period for borrower payments of principal, interest, and fees on PPP loans to the date that SBA remits the borrower’s loan forgiveness amount to the lender (or, if the borrower does not apply for loan forgiveness, 10 months after the end of the borrower’s loan forgiveness covered period).
• In addition, the new rules will confirm that June 30, 2020, remains the last date on which a PPP loan application can be approved. ❖
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