Are you one of the artists or creative small businesses who chose to use the SBA’s loan programs to help you through this time? Was a PPP and have you applied for forgiveness yet? According to the SBA, they distributed (through partners) more than $23.4 billion in PPP loans for small businesses in the Pacific Northwest, and many of those went to businesses in the creative industries.
As the SBA continues working with lenders nationwide on the Paycheck Protection Program, small business owners should take note of a few things when it comes to forgiveness.
1. There’s still plenty of time.
There has been some confusion about whether applications for PPP loan forgiveness were due Oct. 31 but the U.S. Small Business Administration has reassured applicants there is no defined deadline. Business owners can still apply and use the simplified application which significantly reduces the time and paperwork needed for PPP loan forgiveness.
2. There is a simplified application for loan forgiveness.
Last month, the SBA and Treasury released a simpler forgiveness application for PPP loans of $50,000 or less. This should significantly simplify the PPP loan forgiveness process for small businesses and the lenders who support them. According to the SBA, two-thirds of the PPP loans in our region should be eligible for this option.
3. The simplified form takes as little as 15 minutes to fill out.
The simplified application has only seven items for a PPP borrower to verify and significantly reduces the time and paperwork needed for PPP loan forgiveness.
4. You still have to document that the expenses were eligible.
Since a key part of forgiveness for PPP loans is using the money for eligible expenses, borrowers need to provide documentation with the forgiveness application. This can include:
- Payroll documentation
- Bank account statements or third-party payroll service provider reports
- Tax forms
- Business mortgage interest payments – lender amortization schedule, receipts, cancelled checks
- Business rent or lease payments – current lease agreement, receipts, cancelled checks
- Business utility payments – invoices, receipts, cancelled checks, account statements
5. Apply for forgiveness through your lender (bank). Not the SBA.
You can download PPP loan forgiveness applications from the SBA… sba.gov/paycheckprotection. But you’ll submit it and other required information to the lender that provided you with a PPP loan. Lenders have up to 60 days to review a PPP loan forgiveness application and the SBA has up to 90 days to review the forgiveness application once received from the lender. The SBA remits the amount forgiven to the lender, who has to process the forgiveness payment before notifying the PPP borrower of the amount.
6. The SBA has already started remittance to lenders.
The SBA began approving PPP loan forgiveness applications and remitting forgiveness payments to lenders for PPP borrowers Oct. 2, 2020. The SBA will continue to process all PPP loan forgiveness applications in an expeditious manner.
7. The SBA is available to help you through the process.
To ease small businesses through the forgiveness process and empower businesses to confidently move their business forward, the SBA Resource Partner Network – which includes Small Business Development Centers, SCORE Mentors, Women’s Business Centers and the Veterans Business Outreach Center – provide one-on-one business advising and technical assistance to small businesses at no- or low-cost.
The information in this article is based on the SBA’s “6 Things About PPP Loan Forgiveness You Should Know”.