Monday, June 8, 2020

Updates to the Paycheck Protection Act Making it More Flexible

Late last week, the President signed legislation (H.R. 7010) enacting the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA) which amends the CARES Act’s Payroll Protection Program (PPP). Here is a brief summary of the changes enacted by the new law: 
  • The timeframe in which borrowers must spend the PPP funds is expanded to 24 weeks (as opposed to 8 weeks) or December 31, 2020, whichever is earlier. This is effective immediately and applicable to all loans as if the language was part of the original CARES Act.
  • The date when workers must be rehired is extended from June 30th to to December 31, 2020.
  • The PPPFA softened rehiring requirements by adding a loan forgiveness exemption based on employee availability from February 15 through December 31, 2020. During this time, loan forgiveness will be determined without regard to a proportional reduction in the number of full-time equivalent employees if the borrower can document in good faith that:
    • They are unable to rehire former employees on February 15, 2020 and are also unable to hire similarly qualified employees for unfilled positions by December 31, 2020; or
    • They are unable to return to their pre-COVID-19 level of business activity (prior to February 15, 2020) because of federal safety and health requirements (issued from March 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020) for sanitation, social distancing, or any other worker or customer COVID-19-related safety requirement.
  • Businesses now have 5 years to repay a loan and the first payment will be deferred for six months after a forgiveness determination. This is only applicable to loans made on or after June 5, 2020.
  • The allocation of funds that must be used for payroll is modified requiring borrowers to spend 60% of the loan on payroll. 40% can be used for other expenses (the prior allocation was 75% payroll / 25% other).
  • Employers may delay paying employer payroll taxes for Social Security through December 31, 2020. 
The Small Business Association and Treasury Department are expected to release detailed guidance on these udpates.

Source: US H.R. 7010