CARES Act – Paycheck Protection Program - Forgivable Loans
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) was signed into law on March
27, 2020. One of the provisions of the CARES Act is the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), which
provides businesses access to loans to pay certain expenses due to hardships faced by the COVID-19
outbreak and related business disruptions. This summary of PPP does not detail all the law’s nuances.
• PPP loans are generally available to employers with 500 or fewer employees.
• Businesses must make certifications when applying for the loan that include:
o The “uncertainty of current economic conditions makes necessary the loan request to
support ongoing operations”.
o The “funds will be used to retain workers and maintain payroll or make mortgage
payments, lease payments and utility payments”.
• Unlike regular Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) loans, a business is not required to show
that credit is unavailable elsewhere or demonstrate repayment ability.
• Eligible businesses include self-employed and individual contractors.
Who Makes PPP Loans
• PPP loans are made from banks that are approved by the SBA; they are not made directly from
• Therefore, in general, a business should contact their regular bank.
PPP Loan Terms
• Interest rate is capped at 4%.
• PPP loans do not require collateral or personal guarantees. There is no recourse to owners of
businesses for nonpayment except to the extent proceeds are used for unauthorized purposes.
• There are no prepayment, guaranty or annual fees.
• PPP loans are backed by a 100% guaranty from the SBA.
• Payments for PPP loans will be deferred for 6 to 12 months.
• To the extent PPP loans are used to pay Covered Expenses (see below), the principle and interest
will be forgiven.
• The remaining balance not used for Covered Expenses and forgiven, is paid back over a period
not to exceed 10 years.
PPP Loan Amount
• The maximum PPP loan available to a business is the lesser of;
o 2.5 times the average monthly Payroll Costs of the business over the rolling 12 months
immediately prior to the making of the loan or
o $10 million.
• Payroll Costs include;
o For each employee, up to $100,000 of wages, commissions, tips, vacation and other paid
time off, plus group health care costs including employer portion of insurance
premiums, retirement plan contributions, and state and local taxes on wages.
o Amounts paid to independent contractors.
• Payroll Costs for a sole proprietor include any compensation up to $100,000 (1099-Misc).
Covered Expenses – What to pay with PPP Loan Proceeds
• Payroll Costs (see detail above).
• Mortgage interest on loans incurred before February 15, 2020.
• Rent under a lease agreement that existed before February 15, 2020.
• Utilities including electricity, gas, water, sewer, telephone and internet access for which service
began before February 15, 2020.
• To the extent the loan proceeds are used to pay Covered Expenses during the 8-week period
after the loan is made, the loan will be forgiven.
• The loan forgiveness is not considered taxable income.
• However, the amount forgiven is reduced based on;
o Failure to maintain the average number of full-time equivalent employees versus the
period from either February 15, 2019 through June 30, 2019, or January 1, 2020 or
February 29, 2020 as selected by the business, or,
o To the extent that compensation for any person making under $100,000 per year is
reduced by more than 25%.
• Reductions in the number of employees or compensation occurring between February 15, 2020
and April 27, 2020 will generally be ignored to the extent reversed (i.e. employees re-hired) by
June 30 ,2020.
• If a business did not have Payroll Costs prior to February 29, 2020, they are not eligible.
• While the loan proceeds can be as much as to 2.5 months of Payroll Costs, in order to be forgiven
the proceeds must be spent within 8 weeks on payroll and/or other Covered Expenses.
• With no fees and standard loan terms, the “best” lender may be whoever can fund the quickest.
• Math will be involved. Determining the maximum loan amount, the amount of Covered
Expenses and how much will be forgiven are crucial. No worries. S&Co are excellent accountants.