At WeidnerLaw, I will continue to repeat our Mantra, “Payroll Protection Program- Forgiveness Will Be The Hardest Part”. We’re going to be working with people over the years to come, helping them understand the details of the program…which involves looking into the rear view mirror. Make no mistake, there will be litigation…lots of it, as the SBA seeks to recover money and hold wrongdoers accountable for abusing the program. For now, enjoy the best definitive answers to your most frequently asked questions:
Is it too late to apply for a PPP loan?
No. There are still billions of dollars available in PPP funding for local businesses. Many of the smaller banks were very skilled at getting these loans out…and they remain so as the program ages.
How can PPP loans be used?
The proceeds of a PPP loan are to be used for: i. payroll costs; ii. costs related to the continuation of group health care benefits during periods of paid sick, medical, or family leave, and insurance premiums; iii. mortgage interest payments (but not mortgage prepayments or principal payments); iv. rent payments; v. utility payments; vi. interest payments on any other debt obligations that were incurred before February 15, 2020; and/or vii. refinancing an SBA EIDL loan made between January 31, 2020 and April 3, 2020. If you received an SBA EIDL loan from January 31, 2020 through April 3, 2020, you can apply for a PPP loan. If your EIDL loan was not used for payroll costs, it does not affect your eligibility for a PPP loan. If your EIDL loan was used for payroll costs, your PPP loan must be used to refinance your EIDL loan. Proceeds from any advance up to $10,000 on the EIDL loan will be deducted from the loan forgiveness amount on the PPP loan. However, at least 75 percent of the PPP loan proceeds shall be used for payroll costs. For purposes of determining the percentage of use of proceeds for payroll costs, the amount of any EIDL refinanced will be included. For purposes of loan forgiveness, however, the borrower will have to document the proceeds used for payroll costs in order to determine the amount of forgiveness. While the Act provides that PPP loan proceeds may be used for the purposes listed above and for other allowable uses described in section 7(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 636(a)), the Administrator believes that finite appropriations and the structure of the Act warrant a requirement that borrowers use a substantial portion of the loan proceeds for payroll costs, consistent with Congress’ overarching goal of keeping workers paid and employed. As with the similar limitation on the forgiveness amount explained earlier, the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary, has determined that 75 percent is an appropriate percentage that will align this element of the program with the loan amount, 75 percent of which is equivalent to eight weeks of payroll. This limitation on use of the loan funds will help to ensure that the finite appropriations available for these loans are directed toward payroll protection, as each loan that is issued depletes the appropriation, regardless of whether portions of the loan are later forgiven.
THE NO. 1 RULE IF YOU GET A PPP LOAN: PUT ALL THE PROCEEDS INTO ONE BANK ACCOUNT AND ONLY USE THAT ACCOUNT FOR
What is the interest rate on a PPP loan?
The interest rate will be 100 basis points or one percent. The Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary, determined that a one percent interest rate is appropriate. First, it provides low cost funds to borrowers to meet eligible payroll costs and other eligible expenses during this temporary period of economic dislocation caused by the coronavirus. Second, for lenders, the 100 basis points offers an attractive interest rate relative to the cost of funding for comparable maturities. For example, the FDIC’s weekly national average rate for a 24- month CD deposit product for the week of March 30, 2020 is 42 basis points for non-jumbo and 44 basis points for jumbo (https://www.fdic.gov/ regulations/resources/rates/). Third, the interest rate is higher than the yield on Treasury securities of comparable maturity. For example, the yield on the Treasury two-year note is approximately 23 basis points. This higher yield combined with the fact that the loans are 100 percent guaranteed by the SBA and the fact that lenders will receive a substantial processing fee from the SBA provide ample inducement for lenders to participate in the PPP.
What will be the maturity date on a PPP loan? The maturity is two years. While the Act provides that a loan will have a maximum maturity of up to ten years from the date the borrower applies for loan forgiveness (described below), the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary, determined that a two year loan term is sufficient in light of the temporary economic dislocations caused by the coronavirus. Specifically, the considerable economic disruption caused by the coronavirus is expected to abate well before the two year maturity date such that borrowers will be able to re-commence business operations and pay off any outstanding balances on their PPP loans.
How do I calculate the maximum amount I can borrow?
The following methodology, which is one of the methodologies contained in the Act, will be most useful for many applicants. i. Step 1: Aggregate payroll costs (defined in detail below in f.) from the last twelve months for employees whose principal place of residence is the United States. ii. Step 2: Subtract any compensation paid to an employee in excess of an annual salary of $100,000 and/or any amounts paid to an independent contractor or sole proprietor in excess of $100,000 per year. iii. Step 3: Calculate average monthly payroll costs (divide the amount from Step 2 by 12). iv. Step 4: Multiply the average monthly payroll costs from Step 3 by 2.5.
Can my PPP loan be forgiven in whole or in part?
Yes. The amount of loan forgiveness can be up to the full principal amount of the loan and any accrued interest. That is, the borrower will not be responsible for any loan payment if the borrower uses all of the loan proceeds for forgiveable purposes described below and employee and compensation levels are maintained. The actual amount of loan forgiveness will depend, in part, on the total amount of payroll costs, payments of interest on mortgage obligations incurred before February 15, 2020, rent payments on leases dated before February 15, 2020, and utility payments under service agreements dated before February 15, 2020, over the eight-week period following the date of the loan. However, not more than 25 percent of the loan forgiveness amount may be attributable to non-payroll costs.
A representative of the applicant can certify for the business as a whole if the representative is legally authorized to do so. any payments of mortgage interest, rent, and utilities, the Administrator has determined that the non-payroll portion of the forgivable loan amount should be limited to effectuate the core purpose of the statute and ensure finite program resources are devoted primarily to payroll. The Administrator has determined in consultation with the Secretary that 75 percent is an appropriate percentage in light of the Act’s overarching focus on keeping workers paid and employed. Further, the Administrator and the Secretary believe that applying this threshold to loan forgiveness is consistent with the structure of the Act, which provides a loan amount 75 percent of which is equivalent to eight weeks of payroll (8 weeks/2.5 months = 56 days/76 days = 74 percent rounded up to 75 percent). Limiting non-payroll costs to 25 percent of the forgiveness amount will align these elements of the program, and will also help to ensure that the finite appropriations available for PPP loan forgiveness are directed toward payroll protection. SBA will issue additional guidance on loan forgiveness.
What qualifies as ‘‘payroll costs?’’
Payroll costs consist of compensation to employees (whose principal place of residence is the United States) in the form of salary, wages, commissions, or similar compensation; cash tips or the equivalent (based on employer records of past tips or, in the absence of such records, a reasonable, good-faith employer estimate of such tips); payment for vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave; allowance for separation or dismissal; payment for the provision of employee benefits consisting of group health care coverage, including insurance premiums, and retirement; payment of state and local taxes assessed on compensation of employees; and for an independent contractor or sole proprietor, wages, commissions, income, or net earnings from self-employment, or similar compensation.
Is there anything that is expressly excluded from the definition of payroll costs?
Yes. The Act expressly excludes the following: i. Any compensation of an employee whose principal place of residence is outside of the United States; ii. The compensation of an individual employee in excess of an annual salary of $100,000, prorated as necessary; iii. Federal employment taxes imposed or withheld between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020, including the employee’s and employer’s share of FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) and Railroad Retirement Act taxes, and income taxes required to be withheld from employees; and iv. Qualified sick and family leave wages for which a credit is allowed under sections 7001 and 7003 of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Pub. L. 116–127).
Do independent contractors count as employees for purposes of PPP loan forgiveness?
No, independent contractors have the ability to apply for a PPP loan on their own so they do not count for purposes of a borrower’s PPP loan forgiveness.
Do independent contractors count as employees for purposes of PPP loan calculations?
No, independent contractors have the ability to apply for a PPP loan on their own so they do not count for purposes of a borrower’s PPP loan calculation.
What fees will lenders be paid?
SBA will pay lenders fees for processing PPP loans in the following amounts: i. Five (5) percent for loans of not more than $350,000; ii. Three (3) percent for loans of more than $350,000 and less than $2,000,000; and iii. One (1) percent for loans of at least $2,000,000.
Can PPP loans be sold into the secondary market?
Yes. A PPP loan may be sold on the secondary market after the loan is fully disbursed. A PPP loan may be sold on the secondary market at a premium or a discount to par value. SBA will issue guidance regarding any advance purchase for loans sold in the secondary market.