April 2, 2020

CARES Act & the Paycheck Protection Program

An important element of the CARES Act signed into law on March 27 is the availability of loans that can provide needed immediate relief for small businesses, independent contractors, self-employed individuals and private non-profits.

While we’re not CARES experts by any means or in a position to give guidance or advice, we have rounded up some information and resources from news articles and the Small Business Administration regarding the Paycheck Protection Program. We hope it might be helpful to some of our customers and members of our communities as we all continue to navigate the economic challenges presented by COVID-19.

Paycheck Protection Program Loan

The Paycheck Protection Program is intended to help small businesses keep their workforce employed.

Key point: portions of the loan will be forgiven if all employees are kept on the payroll for minimum of 8 weeks and funds are used only for certain items as noted below.

Any of the following are eligible for consideration provided they were in operation prior to February 15, 2020:

  • Businesses with fewer than 500 employees
  • Self-employed individuals or contractors
  • Private non-profit organizations

Loan Amount & Terms

  • A loan equal to 2.5 times 8 weeks of average monthly payroll costs (maximum loan amount is $10 million).
  • The loan interest rate is fixed at 4% and there are no loan fees.
  • Loan payments will be deferred for 6 months.
  • The SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds used to cover the first 8 weeks of payroll and certain other expenses if you maintain your workforce.

What the Loan Covers*

  • Payroll costs and employee benefits including payroll tax, sick leave, health insurance premiums and retirement benefits
  • Rent under lease agreements in effect before February 15, 2020
  • Utilities for which service began before February 15, 2020
  • Mortgage interest incurred prior to February 15, 2020

* Important: what the proceeds must be used for in order to qualify for loan forgiveness

Cybersecurity Alert!

  • If you apply for a loan, you may become a target for scammers. Be hyper-vigilant throughout the process.

Resources

Loan application form is available here:
https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Paycheck-Protection-Program-Application-3-30-2020-v3.pdf

Once you have filled out the form, check with your bank to see if they are an SBA-approved lender. If not, contact the SBA at this link to find one:
https://covid19relief.sba.gov

SBA Fact Sheet and additional info here:
https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

Good article with FAQ’s published on March 31, 2020 in The Washington Post made available to non-subscribers here:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/03/30/heres-how-get-small-business-loan-under-349-billion-coronavirus-aid-bill/