On July 28, the Small Business Administration (SBA) launched an application portal to allow borrowers with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $150,000 or less to apply for forgiveness directly through SBA. The new forgiveness platform will begin accepting applications from borrowers on August 4. Lenders will be required to opt-in to this program through the portal.
Established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March 2020, the PPP is a loan initiative aimed at helping small businesses weather the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. The program provides loans to small businesses to keep workers on the payroll and, if certain conditions are met, borrowers may be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness. SBA stopped accepting new PPP loan applications on May 31, but over 6.5 million PPP loans of $150,000 or less have not yet been forgiven.
The new direct forgiveness portal will help speed up the process to provide relief to those nearly 7 million borrowers. Many of these borrowers are small businesses who may not have the capacity to apply for forgiveness through a complex system, and the new portal will provide forgiveness more efficiently.
The SBA forgiveness portal will begin to accept applications from qualifying small businesses on August 4, and it is estimated the portal will take just a few minutes to complete. In an attempt to expedite the forgiveness process borrowers will no longer need to go through their bank – though lenders will still have a role in determining whether a loan should be forgiven.
Counties are deeply invested in the health and vitality of their local economies through workforce training, business attraction and retention and other community and economic development activities. Counties across the country have acted quickly to support their small businesses with needed cashflow and practical guidance. The new direct PPP forgiveness portal will help local businesses get the relief they need as the nation pivots towards recovery. Counties should be aware of all forms of assistance available to small businesses within their county as they strategize about how to invest American Rescue Plan Act funds most efficiently.
- Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program Landing Page
- U.S. Treasury Department’s CARES Act Small Business Assistance Landing Page