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The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is the Hope Small Businesses Need

Pacific Northwest Region - June 16, 2020
SBA Pacific Northwest Regional Administrator
During the past few weeks, I’ve been reading a lot about hope and its necessary role in healing, recovery and moving forward, not only as individuals, but as communities and a nation.
I’ve been talking to our local team about the role the SBA must have in providing hope to small business owners. This means being a local ally who listens, provides answers and connects small business owners with the resources they need to move their business forward.
Whether it’s a local manufacturer whose production and overseas trade has come to a halt; or, a local restaurant who has transitioned from a bustling lunch crowd to a delivery service; or, a small employer who is trying to balance a continuity of operations with employee safety – all of these stories and more have a direct impact on small business profits and their people.
Since the launch of the PPP April 3, more than 4.5 million loans worth $512 billion have been approved by the SBA. 
And with the recent passage of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, small businesses can now extend the time they spend loan proceeds from eight weeks to 24 weeks, not worry about loan forgiveness if they are unable rehire employees as that limit has been removed, and expand the percentage of PPP funds they use for nonpayroll expenses. As the name of the legislation states, this flexibility is good news and a sigh of relief for many local business owners.
The real impact of the PPP has certainly preserved thousands of important jobs and kept the doors of small businesses open. But this financial support goes beyond jobs and businesses. It has a positive impact on people, their families, and our communities.
Stories of Hope
For example, Bonnie Singer and Mary Beth Camp – co-directors of Music Together of Portland – have been running an early child development music program for more than 20 years. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the center had to stop teaching in-person classes at its seven locations and develop an online curriculum to keep families safe. However, spring semester enrollments went down dramatically putting extreme pressure on Bonnie and Mary Beth to keep 18 teachers and staff employed.
After foregoing their salaries for a month in order to pay their team members, they applied for a PPP loan and were funded in early May, allowing Music Together to retain all its staff.
Bonnie told us the PPP allowed her and Mary Beth to tell their “amazing team of teachers and administrators” that they can pay them what they were expecting. She added that she “marvels at the community that we have and how we support each other through everything.”
Another great example is Penny Antonelli-Flegel, owner of Digital Imaging Solutions in Spokane Valley, WA. She told us her PPP loan gave her nine employees peace of mind knowing they’ll continue to receive an income to support their families, sharing that “it’s a huge relief for everybody.”
The PPP is also helping local nonprofit organizations. For instance, Treehouse is a Seattle-based organization that supports kids in foster care. March 18 was set to be Treehouse’s largest annual fundraiser but because of the pandemic, they had to cancel the event. Plus, many donors are no longer able to contribute the same level of financial assistance.
A PPP loan allowed Treehouse to maintain more than 100 employees and continue to serve the 8,000 youths in their programs. Treehouse Executive Director Lisa Chin told us, “We’re able to serve because of the generosity of others. In this case, it’s been our government that’s stepped up.”
As we begin the transition into recovery, we need stories of hope more than ever. 
But I write to you to say despite some bumps in the road, the PPP is working. It’s bringing the hope our small business community needs.
It’s important to remember that business support doesn’t go away when the pandemic does. The SBA and its federal and local partners support small businesses at every stage of the business lifecycle. The highs, the lows and everything in between.
The SBA has the privilege to work for small business owners whose grit creates two out of three net new jobs in the country. This is not the first economic hurdle entrepreneurs have had to scale and it won’t be the last.  And the SBA will be there to support them every step of the way.
Time is Running Out for Small Businesses to Access Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Funds
June 30, 2020 is the final date on which a PPP loan application can be approved
More than $130 billion in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds are available for small businesses, independent contractors, nonprofits and tribal businesses.
The PPP is a forgivable loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.
Interested borrowers can apply for a PPP loan through one of 5,500 participating lenders including banks, credit unions, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI), Minority Depository Institutions (MDI), Farm Credit Lenders, and Microlenders. Plus, information and forms are translated into 17 languages.
Last week, new and revised PPP guidance was issued that expands eligibility for businesses with owners who have past felony convictions.
Soon the SBA, in consultation with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, will issue additional guidance regarding loan forgiveness and a revised forgiveness application to implement the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act.
EIDL and EIDL Advance Reopen to Small Businesses and Nonprofits Impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic
To further meet the needs of small businesses and nonprofits, the SBA reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal yesterday to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19.
The SBA EIDL program offers long-term, low-interest assistance for a small business or nonprofit. These loans can provide vital economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue.
About the COVID-19 EIDL:
  1. May be used to pay debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact, and that are not already covered by a Paycheck Protection Program loan.
  2. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
  3. The EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid.
  4. To keep payments affordable for small businesses, the SBA offers loans with long repayment terms, up to a maximum of 30 years.
  5. The first payment is deferred for one year.
For more information about PPP and other funding options for small businesses visit:
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