Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
Part of the CARES Act that was signed into law on March 27, 2020, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides loans to small businesses and non-profits to help in retaining their workforces and to cover other expenses. It provides $349 Billion in federal funding for potentially forgivable loans to help small employers cover costs including payroll, most mortgage interest, rent and utility costs for the eight (8) week period after loan commencement.
Starting Friday, April 3, 2020, employers affected by COVID-19 will be able to submit an application to see if they qualify for loan assistance to help cover payroll and other expenses.
Independent Contractors and Self-Employed individuals can apply for assistance to cover payroll and other certain expenses starting on Friday, April 10, 2020.
Business established before February 15, 2020, that meet the following criteria are eligible to apply:
- Employing 500 or fewer employees (or meeting other SBA Size Standards based on industry)
- Restaurants, hotels or other business under NAICS Code 72 (Travel and Accommodations) with 500 or fewer employees at each location.
- Tribal businesses, 501(c)19 Veteran organizations and/or 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, including religious organizations (subject to the SBA Affiliation Standards)
- Independently-owned franchises with 500 or fewer employees (SBA Franchise Directory)
- Independent Contractors and Self-Employed Individuals
- Payroll costs (salary, wages, commissions, tips), including benefits. Note: Payroll costs are capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis per employee);
- Interest on mortgage obligations, incurred before February 15, 2020;
- Rent, under lease agreements in force before February 15, 2020; and
- Utilities, for which service began before February 15, 2020.
Note: No more than 25% of the loan should be used on non-payroll costs.
Loans will not be forgiven if:
- Funds are used for anything other than payroll, benefits, mortgage interest, rent or utilities.
- More than 25% of the loan is used for non-payroll costs.
- A business does not retain its workforce and maintain payroll.
There may be reductions in forgiveness amounts if:
- Full-time employee head counts are reduced.
- Salaries and wages for employees making less than $100,000 annualized in 2019 are reduced more than 25%.
- Note: Employers are permitted to restore to previous staffing and payroll levels by rehiring, etc. to account for any changes made between February 15, 2020 and April 26, 2020. This must be completed by June 30, 2020.
To request loan forgiveness you must submit a request with supporting documentation showing that you met the forgiveness stipulations noted above to your lender. The lender is required to review the materials and provide notification of their decision within 60 days.
Interest Rate: 0.50% Fixed Rate
Loan Term: 2 years
Payments: Deferred for the first 6 months (but interest will accrue).
Personal Guarantee or Collateral Required: None
Approval: Depending on the lending institution used, could be instant or take several days.
The idea with the PPP loan is that you would rehire your currently unemployed workers once you have the PPP loan in place, before June 30, 2020. Once you rehire them, they should stop getting unemployment.
As long as you have them on staff by June 30, 2020, you will have met the requirement for forgiveness. When you submit your loan application, you’ll need to find out from your bank what the correct number is for “number of jobs.” This is supposed to be the number of jobs that you currently have with employees working in them. The idea is that they will determine what the “number of jobs” is as of June 30, 2020 and compare that against what you submitted on your application.
1099 contractors are not included in eligible costs covered by the PPP loan. The PPP doesn’t seem to support the concept of non-payroll labor (i.e. temp labor). The intent of the program is to provide employers with the ability to fund their payrolls (and keep people off of unemployment) during the quarantine time – in some case, to keep employees paid while they are not working – in some cases, to provide employers with a source of paying their payroll even while employees are working, in the face of their own uncertain cashflow.
If you needed funding to cover temp labor costs, you would need to apply separately for an economic injury disaster loan, which you could use for this purpose.
For an LLC that’s taxed as a sole proprietor, the company can use PPP proceeds to pay LLC members. In order to determine the amount of the PPP loan that can be used for this purpose:
- Determine the net profit that was reported in Line 31 on Schedule C of your 2019 1040 (up to a maximum of $100,000)
- Divide net profit by 52
- Multiply this result by 8
The result of the above steps will be the total amount of pay that an LLC member can earn during the 8-week PPP period, which could be forgiven.
An FTE is any employee who averages 30 or more hours per week. You run your FTE count as of June 30, 2020, and compare this against your FTE count for the period from January 1, 2020 to February 29, 2020, or from February 15, 2019 to June 30, 2019. The total number of FTEs as of June 30, 2020, divided by the total number of FTEs from whichever time period you selected will result in the percentage of your PPP loan that will be forgiven. The difference between your total loan amount and what will be forgiven represents the amount not forgiven due to the FTE discrepancy. The headcount threshold has no consideration for the specific individuals who are working (it is only based on hours worked).
One recommendation is to split your final pay period. You don’t need to worry about the initial pay period, because it doesn’t really matter when the first applicable pay date for use of the PPP loan proceeds occurs. In most cases, this first pay date will include a pay period that has days in it from prior to when you received your PPP loan. What matters is when the money was spent (i.e. pay date).
The final pay period of your PPP loan period will begin on the day that it normally would begin. The end of the pay period as well as the pay date will fall on the last day of your PPP loan period. The normal pay date for this pay period will still happen, but on that pay date, employees will only get paid for what they did not receive on the special pay date on the last day of the PPP loan period.