A new round of Paycheck Protection Program loans totaling $284 million will start becoming available to select lenders and borrowers on Monday, according to the U.S. Small Business administration.
WHO'S FIRST THEN NEXT?: Community financial institutions — approximately 10% of eligible lenders — will be able to start accepting loan applications Monday for entities seeking their first PPP loans. On Wednesday, those same lenders can begin processing second-round loans for small businesses and nonprofits that have already used up their first loan. The lending portal will be available for other eligible lenders and borrowers shortly thereafter.
EXPECT MORE SCRUTINY: Applications will go through a series of automated checks that could take about a day before a loan number is issued.
DIVVYING UP THE DOLLARS: The program sets aside $60 billion for businesses that haven’t been able to access the process so far, and it focuses on companies with 10 or fewer employees or those in low-income areas. The initiative also has $30 billion to help boost capacity among lenders active in under-served areas.
SECOND BITE AT LOANS: Firms that are eligible for a second loan (many businesses received loans in 2020) will be capped at 300 employees, down from 500, and the maximum loan amount is $2 million, a decrease from $10 million. Applicants also have to prove that revenues declined at least 25% during one quarter the pandemic, compared to the previous year.
STREAMLINED PROCESS: Those applying for a loan of $150,000 or less means they only need to certify that they meet the revenue-reduction requirements at the time they apply for a loan and provide documentation of the revenue loss at a later date. The process to get the loan forgiven is also simplified.
MORE ELIGIBILITY: This round housing cooperatives, direct marketing organizations and 501(c)(6) organizations, such as chambers of commerce and trade associations, are allowed to apply. PPP loans can be used to cover more expenses, including operations expenditures, property-damage costs, supplier costs and personal protective equipment for employees.
USING THE MONEY: Applications and approvals are due by March 31. Businesses have up to 24 weeks to spend the money. The five-year loans, based on payroll expenses for either 2019 or 2020, will have an interest rate of 1%. Sixty percent of the loan must be used for payroll to qualify for forgiveness. Companies can use the rest for employee health benefits, mortgage interest, rent, utilities and expenses that are essential to business operations.