Amazon sellers impacted by the pandemic have an excellent funding option to keep their business afloat or rebuild whether they have employees or not.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a government loan that helps businesses fund payroll costs and more. Of particular note is that a PPP loan may be forgiven (partially or completely) if you meet all of the employee retention criteria.
The program will close on March 31, 2021. If you received an initial loan and plan to apply for a second or first PPP loan, start gathering the information needed for the loan now.
What is the PPP?
Following the 2020 loan disbursement, the Paycheck Protection Program was put in place again for 2021. The program was created to help struggling companies cover operating expenses and pay employees during the coronavirus pandemic. Loan terms are the same for every participant and loans could be partially or fully forgiven if they meet certain criteria.
Sole proprietors, self-employed workers, independent contractors, and many other types of borrowers can apply. So whether or not you have employees, you may be eligible. To qualify for this second round of funding, your business also needs to meet these requirements:
- Have used or will use the full amount from your first PPP loan
- Shows a drop of 25% or more in annual gross receipts or for any 2020 quarter compared with the same quarter in 2019
- An eligible NAICS 72 restaurant or hotel determines its second draw PPP loan amount by choosing an average monthly payroll option and multiplying that figure by 3.5; other types of businesses are limited to multiplying this figure by 2.5,
- Have not permanently closed; if you have closed temporarily or suspended operations you can receive a second loan
Like the initial PPP loans, this round of funds are forgivable if they are used for covered costs within 8-24 weeks of receiving the loan. These costs have been expanded and now include:
- personal protective equipment
- payroll costs
- operating costs
- repairs to property damaged during protests (that is not covered by insurance)
- payments to a supplier for contracts and purchase orders that were in effect before taking out the loan
business modifications made to meet health and safety requirements
Note that at least 60% of the total loan amount needs to be used for payroll expenses in order to qualify for full loan forgiveness.
PPP loan amounts
Here are details about the fund amount available to qualified businesses:
- The maximum loan amount has been cut from $10 million in the first program to $2 million maximum.
- PPP borrowers may receive a loan amount of up to 2.5 times their average monthly payroll costs in the year prior to the loan or the calendar year. (or 3.5 for restaurant and hospitality businesses with NAISC code 72)
The new COVID-19 relief bill guidelines include:
- Creates a simplified forgiveness application process for loans of $150,000 or less.
- A borrower will receive forgiveness if they sign and submit a certification that is not more than one page in length, includes a description of the number of employees the borrower was able to retain because of the loan, the estimated total amount of the loan spent on payroll costs, and the total loan amount.
- Borrowers are required to retain relevant records related to employment for four years and other records for three years, as the SBA may review and audit these loans to check for fraud.
- Repeals the requirement that PPP borrowers deduct the amount of any Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance from their PPP forgiveness amount.
- Includes support for first- and second-time PPP borrowers with 10 or fewer employees, first-time PPP borrowers that have recently been made eligible, and for loans made by community lenders.
Required documentation to apply for a PPP loan
The documentation required to substantiate an applicant’s payroll cost calculations is generally the same as documentation required for the first PPP Loan. However, no additional documentation to substantiate payroll costs will be required if the applicant used calendar year 2019 figures to determine its first PPP Loan amount.
Documentation may also include the following:
- Relevant tax forms, including annual tax forms
- If relevant tax forms are not available, quarterly financial statements or bank statements
- For loans with a principal amount of $150,000 or less, such documentation is not required at the time the borrower submits its application for a loan, but must be submitted on or before the date the borrower applies for loan forgiveness
- If a borrower does not submit an application for loan forgiveness, such documentation must be provided upon SBA’s request
Note that different documentation requirements may differ based on your lender. SmartBiz has simplified documentation required for independent contractors, sole proprietors, and single entity LLCs. All you need are tax form 1040, Schedule C. bank account and routing info along with ID number (either Driver’s License or Passport). Additionally, the SmartBiz Loans PPP application helps calculate your maximum eligible loan amount.
SmartBiz Loans is here to help you apply for this new round of PPP funding. The banks in the SmartBiz network are processing applications and ready to help you get the funding you need in 2021.
To help you move through the application and understand the process, SmartBiz Loans has a video with step-by-step guidance.
What You Need to Know
The availability of PPP loans remains subject to SBA guidance and other factors, including the amount of funding available to banks and the quantity of eligible applicants considered on a first-come, first-served basis. The information provided above is for educational purposes only. Please consult the SBA’s website for actual rules and the most current guidance.