Our firm has been attempting to keep our business clients up-to-date with what is going on with both the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES”) and the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”). For those of you fortunate enough to have qualified for a PPP loan you want to make sure your company takes all of the necessary steps to achieve forgiveness of the loan down the road. Below is an outline that is a good starting guide to begin preparing to request the loan be forgiven.

A FEW KEY POINTS THAT APPLY TO ALL RECIEPIENTS

  • ALTHOUGH NOT REQUIRED CONSIDER HAVING ALL LOAN PROCEEDS PLACED IN A NEW BANK ACCOUNT. USE THE FUNDS ONLY FOR THE ALLOWED PURPOSES UNDER THE CARES ACT. YOUR RECORDS FOR HOW THE PROCEEDS WERE SPENT WILL ALL BE IN ONE PLACE.
  • EMPLOYER’S SIDE FICA PAYMENTS SHOULD BE PAID FROM FUNDS OTHER THAN THE LOAN PROCEEDS.
  • DO NOT PAY ANY EMPLOYEE AT MORE THAN A $100,000.00 ANNUAL SALARY RATE FROM THE PROCEEDS. YOUR COMPANY CAN MAKE UP THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE $100,000.00 PRORATED SALARY PAID AND THE EMPLOYEE’S NORMAL SALARY FROM OTHER ACCOUNTS IN SEPARATE CHECKS TO THOSE EMPLOYEES.

GENERAL GUIDANCE

The conditions of the Paycheck Protection Program
The funds from the PPP can be used for the following purposes:

  • Payroll—salary, wage, vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave, health benefits
  • Mortgage interest—as long as the mortgage was signed before February 15, 2020
  • Rent—as long as the lease agreement was in effect before February 15, 2020
  • Utilities—as long as service began before February 15, 2020

All expenses that fall under those categories are eligible for forgiveness. The following conditions will also apply:

1. Eight weeks of coverage
Eligible expenses are those that are incurred over eight weeks, starting from the day the first payment was made by your lender. This is not necessarily the date on which you signed your loan agreement.
Depending on your payroll schedule, you may want to adjust the timing of your payroll date to accommodate as many payroll cycles as possible.
For example, if your PPP loan gets deposited in your bank account on April 15, you could only use the funds on expenses incurred during the eight weeks following April 15.

2. The 75/25 rule
At least 75% of your loan must be used for payroll costs. Payments to independent contractors cannot be included in the payroll costs.

3. Staffing requirements
You must maintain the number of employees on your payroll.
Here is the calculation you can use to determine if you’ve met this requirement:
First, determine the average number of full-time equivalent employees you had for:

  • The 8-week period following your initial loan disbursement, (A)
  • February 15, 2019 to June 30, 2019, (B1)
  • and January 1, 2020 to February 29, 2020. (B2)

Take A and divide that by B1. Do the same with B2. Take the largest number you obtain. If you’re a seasonal employer, you must divide by B1.

  • If you get a number equal to or larger than 1, you successfully maintained your headcount and meet this requirement.
  • If you get a number smaller than 1, you did not maintain your headcount and your forgivable expenses will be reduced proportionately.

4. Pay requirements
You must maintain at least 75% of total salary.
This requirement will be individually assessed for every employee that did not receive more than $100,000 in annualized pay in 2019.
If the employee’s pay over the 8 weeks is less than 75% of the pay they received during the most recent quarter in which they were employed, the eligible amount for forgiveness will be reduced by the difference between their current pay and 75% of the original pay.

5. Rehiring grace period
You can rehire any staff that were laid off or put on furlough and reinstate any pay that was decreased by more than 25% to meet the requirements for forgiveness. You have until June 30th to do so.

Applications for loan forgiveness will be processed by your lender. They’ll provide you with instructions on where to apply
After you submit your application for forgiveness, your lender is required by law to provide you with a response within 60 days.

Recordkeeping and required documents for forgiveness
These are the required documents you will need to collect to provide with your PPP forgiveness application. Your lender may have additional requirements.

  • Documents verifying the number of full-time equivalent employees on payroll and their pay rates, for the periods used to verify you met the staffing and pay requirements:
    1) Payroll reports from your payroll provider
    2) Payroll tax filings (Form 941)
    3) Income, payroll, and unemployment insurance filings from your state
    4) Documents verifying any retirement and health insurance contributions
    Documents verifying your eligible interest, rent, and utility payments (canceled checks, payment receipts, account statements)

If you have additional questions please email me at sblomberg@gweblaw.com.

STAY WELL AND SAFE!