Small Businesses Await Upcoming April 3 Launch of Applications for New SBA COVID-19 Loan Program – Guidance and Clarity Needed in Key Areas

By at 1 April, 2020, 2:45 pm


For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C. – On March 31, the U.S. Treasury and Small Business Administration (SBA) published additional information and guidance about the “Paycheck Protection Program” (PPP) loan program included in the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which offers small businesses loan forgiveness for payroll, certain benefits, rent and utilities for an 8-week period. The U.S. Treasury said that lending institutions will begin accepting PPP loan applications on April 3 from small businesses and sole proprietorships (and the self-employed and independent contractors on April 10).  Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) president & CEO Karen Kerrigan said getting these capital access programs up-and-running is vitally important, but small business owners still continue to have questions about key details of the program that will guide decisions about their next moves.  There are still questions, for example, about what will be forgivable under the PPP program and there have been new limitations added.

Kerrigan said:

“Clarity with regard to what is forgivable and during what period of time, along with eligibility issues will be very helpful for small business owners to understand as they prepare to apply for PPP loans. Many are wondering whether it makes more sense to apply for the ‘economic injury disaster loans’ to get into the system before funds run out, yet they still have questions about what portion of the EIDL loan will be forgivable if they roll it into a PPP loan, which is allowed under the CARES Act.

“Moreover, many are questioning whether they can now include independent contractor payments as wages under the new guidance. And independent contractors and the self-employed fear the funds will run dry before the April 10 date that allows them to apply for the PPP program. A new 25% cap on forgivable non-payroll costs was included as part of the PPP guidance, which concerns brick-and-mortar businesses with significant rent and utility loads in addition to employee costs. These are just a few of the new changes that are confusing small business owners, which differ from the legislative text.  We hope we can get guidance on these and several other key issues as soon as possible given small businesses are treading water.”

SBE Council joined the Small Business Roundtable, which Kerrigan chairs, in sending a letter to key members in the Administration outlining several of these issues and more.

Access U.S. Treasury’s CARES Act page here.

Access SBA’s PPP page here.

“We know this program is moving at a very rapid pace following passage of the CARES Act, and refinements will be made along the way. We appreciate the hard work of the Administration and look forward to working with the appropriate staff to ensure these program touch as many small businesses as possible in a positive way, as intended by the legislation,” added Kerrigan.

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SBE Council’s COVID-19 Small Business Resource Center

CARES Act: What’s in it for Small Business, the Self-Employed and Gig Workers


Karen Kerrigan, SBE Council president & CEO

SBE Council is nonpartisan advocacy, research and education organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. For 25 years, SBE Council has worked on and advanced a range of private sector and public policy initiatives to strengthen the ecosystem for strong startup activity and small business growth. Visit @SBECouncil

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