On April 17th, I held a second live forum to help small business owners during this COVID-19 pandemic. Joining me to discuss the Paycheck Protection Program as well as Economic Injury Disaster Loans and other important topics were experts from the Small Business Administration and the South Carolina Small Business Development Centers.
This one-hour program provides a wealth of information for small business owners, independent contractors, sole proprietors, and the self-employed as our nation and community battles this pandemic.
How does the Paycheck Protection Program Work?
The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) was one of the many provisions in the CARES Act that was recently passed by Congress to help address the economic fallout from COVID-19. This provision aims to help small businesses and the millions of Americans who rely on them for jobs during this period of uncertainty.
Under the Paycheck Protection Program, small businesses with 500 or fewer employees can apply for a loan through an existing SBA lender. These loans can be used for payroll costs, most business mortgage interest, business rent, and business utility costs over the eight (8) week period after the loan is made.
At the end of the eight-week period, if the small business can demonstrate that (A) their employees were retained with no changes to compensation, (B) conditions of the loan were met and the money was used for the purposes described above, then the loan becomes eligible for total forgiveness. This program should be a major boost for our nation’s small businesses, providing an incentive to retain employees while offering much needed financial relief for payroll and other business expenses for up to eight weeks.
Please note that the Paycheck Protection Program is NOT the same as an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (“EIDL”). While both are administered through the Small Business Administration, the PPP and EIDL have different terms and conditions. A small business owner cannot use both PPP and EIDL for the same purposes at the same time. If you are a small business owner, it’s important to consult with your financial and tax advisors to determine which option is right for you.
Eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program
Small business with 500 or fewer employees qualify for the Paycheck Protection Program, as will most sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed persons. Both for-profit and non-profit organizations are permitted to participate, which includes faith-based organizations. (Note: there are some firms with more than 500 employees that may also qualify.)
Learn More About the Paycheck Protection Program
If you're a small business owner, independent contractor or sole-proprietor looking for additional information about the Paycheck Protection Program, the links below are an excellent place to start:
Small business owners who wish to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program once funding is replenished must currently so through an SBA-approved lender. It helps to start with you own financial institution first, as many banks participating in this program are limiting access, or at the very least giving priority, to their existing customers. The SBA has a new website that allows you to search for banks participating in the Paycheck Protection Program. Click the button below to begin.
Important: Please understand that processing delays are likely with Paycheck Protection Program, as SBA-approved lenders work to process a large volume of applications.
Where Can I Find the Loan Forgiveness Paperwork?
While the initial version of the loan forgiveness paperwork was originally quite extensive, the Treasury Department and SBA have released an updated "EZ" loan forgiveness form which is just three pages. Many businesses that participate in the Paycheck Protection Program will be able to utilize this form. Click here to view a copy of the EZ Form.
What if I need additional assistance?
If you are small business owner having trouble obtaining the information you need or applying for the Paycheck Protection Program, please contact my office by phone at 803-327-1114 or online through the form here.
My staff and I are here to serve all all who live in South Carolina's 5th Congressional District. This includes all of Cherokee, Chester, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lee, Union and York counties and parts of Newberry, Spartanburg and Sumter counties. If you live in another congressional district, please click here to find your Representative.