The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) added the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to provide economic relief to small businesses nationwide adversely impacted by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The PPP is implemented by the SBA with support from the Department of the Treasury. These loans can be 100% forgiven is they meet certain tests.
PPP Loan Forgivness
So therefore the answer is “it depends.”. The amount of PPP loan forgiveness can be up to the full principal amount of the loan and any accrued interest. An eligible borrower will not be responsible for any loan payment if the borrower uses all of the loan proceeds for forgivable purposes as described below and employee and compensation levels are maintained or, if not, an applicable safe harbor applies.
The actual amount of PPP loan forgiveness will depend, in part, on the total amount of payroll costs, payments of interest on mortgage obligations incurred before February 15, 2020, rent payments on leases dated before February 15, 2020, and utility payments for service that began before February 15, 2020, over the loan forgiveness covered period. However, to receive full loan forgiveness, a borrower must use at least 60 percent of the PPP loan for payroll costs, and not more than 40 percent of the loan forgiveness amount may be attributable to nonpayroll costs.
For example, if a borrower uses 59 percent of its PPP loan for payroll costs, it will not receive the full amount of loan forgiveness it might otherwise be eligible to receive. Instead, the borrower will receive partial loan forgiveness, based on the requirement that 60 percent of the forgiveness amount must be attributable to payroll costs. For example, if a borrower receives a $100,000 PPP loan, and during the covered period the borrower spends $54,000 (or 54 percent) of its loan on payroll costs, then because the borrower used less than 60 percent of its loan on payroll costs, the maximum amount of loan forgiveness the borrower may receive is $90,000 (with $54,000 in payroll costs constituting 60 percent of the forgiveness amount and $36,000 in nonpayroll costs constituting 40 percent of the forgiveness amount).
Use of PPP Loan Proceeds
For consistency with the amendments made in the Flexibility Act regarding the percentage of loan proceeds that must be used for payroll costs in order to be forgiven as discussed above, the First Interim Final Rule was revised to read as follows:
How can PPP loans be used?
The proceeds of a PPP loan are to be used for:
- Payroll costs
- Costs related to the continuation of group health care benefits during periods of paid sick, medical, or family leave, and insurance premiums
- Mortgage interest payments (but not mortgage prepayments or principal payments);
- Rent payments
- Utility payments
- Interest payments on any other debt obligations that were incurred before February 15, 2020; and/or refinancing an SBA EIDL loan made between January 31, 2020 and April 3, 2020. If you received an SBA EIDL loan from January 31, 2020 through April 3, 2020, you can apply for a PPP loan. If your EIDL loan as not used for payroll costs, it does not affect your eligibility for a PPP loan. If your EIDL loan was used for payroll costs, your PPP loan must be used to refinance your EIDL loan. Proceeds from any advance up to $10,000 on the EIDL loan will be deducted from the loan forgiveness amount on the PPP loan.
The 60% rule reminder
At least 60 percent of the PPP loan proceeds shall be used for payroll costs. For purposes of determining the percentage of use of proceeds for payroll costs, the amount of any EIDL refinanced will be included. For purposes of PPP loan forgiveness, however, the borrower will have to document the proceeds used for payroll costs in order to determine the amount of forgiveness.
While the Act provides that PPP loan proceeds may be used for the purposes listed above and for other allowable uses described in section 7(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 636(a)), the Administrator believes that finite appropriations and the structure of the Act warrant a requirement that borrowers use a substantial portion of the loan proceeds for payroll costs, consistent with Congress’ overarching goal of keeping workers paid and employed. This percentage is consistent with the limitation on the forgiveness amount set forth in the Flexibility Act. This limitation on use of the loan funds will help to ensure that the finite appropriations available for these loans are directed toward payroll protection, as each loan that is issued depletes the appropriation, regardless of whether portions of the loan are later forgiven.