Update: President Trump signed the PPP extension into law on July 4.
If you haven’t applied for a PPP loan yet, you have more time to do so.
With $130 billion still available, Congress passed a bill extending the deadline to apply for forgivable small business loans. These loans aim to help small businesses walloped by the COVID-19 pandemic keep employees on payroll.
Small businesses will now have until Aug. 8 to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program. President Trump is expected to sign the extension into law imminently. The PPP is part of the $2 trillion pandemic rescue package passed in March.
About $130 billion was still available when the program expired Tuesday, June 30.
So far, the Small Business Administration approved roughly 4.9 million loans worth about $521 billion across some 5,500 lenders. The average loan size was $107,199.
NEED A ROUND 2?
While extending the deadline may help, what many small businesses need now is a second PPP round. Indeed, a recent National Federation of Independent Business survey showed that 81% of its small business respondents had already applied for the loan.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said the “vast majority” of people who wanted to access a PPP loan “have already used it.” He tweeted, “What we really need to pass very soon is targeted help for those who need a second round of aid.” Rubio chairs the Senate Small Business Committee and helped spearhead the CARES Act.
Rubio told reporters this week he wanted to use remaining PPP funds for a second round of targeted assistance. He also said he considering legislation to create new programs.
During the pandemic, Congress allocated $659 billion, in two rounds, to small businesses in PPP loans that could be converted to grants if they met certain requirements. In early June, Congress passed legislation to loosen some of the loan restrictions. Businesses found them too burdensome, especially because many businesses were closed or operating at reduced capacity due to prolonged stay-home restrictions.
These changes included extending the time for business to use PPP money from eight weeks to 24 weeks. It also let businesses spend 60% of their loans on payroll instead of the earlier requirement of 75%. The rest can cover expenses like rent and utilities. And for the portion of loans that are not forgiven, businesses now have 5 years, up from 2, to repay the 1 percent loans.
HOW AND WHERE TO APPLY
The PPP’s initial $349 billion ran out just two weeks after the program debuted April 3. Its second $310 billion round was also expected to go quickly – but didn’t.
Florida SBDC at FIU, the small business development center within FIU’s College of Business, has helped small businesses in Miami-Dade and Monroe obtain nearly $28 million in pandemic relief, including more than $16 million in PPP loans so far.
Small businesses can apply for a PPP through any SBA-approved lender. Small businesses in South Florida have found more success going to smaller community banks. More information and details on the PPP is available on SBA’s website here.
Meanwhile, Congress could consider a round two of PPP or additional aid for small businesses. Several proposals are on the table,
HOW BIG IS THE NEED?
The need is real: Almost half of small business owners who applied for a PPP loan or an Economic Injury Disaster Loan — another SBA coronovirus relief program for small businesses — anticipate needing additional financial support over the next 12 months, according to the NFIB survey. And while 81% applied for a PPP already, 14% of respondents said they anticipate laying off employees after their loan runs out.
A recent nationwide small business survey by Pwc found that most PPP applicants are looking for additional ways to access credit. In the survey, 59% said they’re turning to credit cards to meet operating expenses. Nearly half, 47%, are turning to personal savings and 401(k)s. What’s more, 39% are looking for secondary banks to fund working capital needs.