New Act Provides More Flexibility to PPP Borrowers

Today President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (the “Act”) to amend certain provisions of the CARES Act related to the forgiveness of loans under the Paycheck Protection Program  (“PPP”) and for a number of other purposes.

Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • Deadline to Use the Loan Proceeds: Borrowers can now use their PPP loan over a period of 24 weeks, tripling the current covered period of eight weeks.[1]
  • Forgivable Uses of the Loan Proceeds: Borrowers must use at least 60% of their PPP loan on payroll costs, amending the previous rule that required borrowers to use 75% of their PPP loan for payroll costs. The remaining 40% may be used for allowable non-payroll expenses.
  • Extension of Time for Rehiring Workers: The period to rehire employees has been extended from June 30, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
  • New Exemptions from Rehiring Workers: Two exemptions were added to the PPP’s loan forgiveness reduction penalties.
    1. The forgiveness amount will not be reduced due to a reduced full time employee count if the borrower can document that it attempted, but was unable, to rehire individuals who had been employees on February 15, 2020.
    2. The forgiveness will not be reduced due to a reduced full time employee count if the borrower, in good faith, can document an inability to return to the “same level of business activity” as prior to February 15, 2020 due to sanitation, social distancing, and worker or customer safety requirements.
  • Payroll Tax Deferral: The payroll tax deferral is now available to a borrower that has its loan forgiven. Previously, the deferral was available only to borrowers that did not have their loan forgiven.
  • Loan Deferral Period: The loan deferral period has been changed to (i) whenever the amount of loan forgiveness is remitted to the lender, or (ii) 10 months after the applicable forgiveness covered period if a borrower does not apply for forgiveness during that 10 month period. Previously, a borrower’s deferral period was to be between six and 12 months.
  • Loan Maturity Date: The maturity date for the payment of the unforgiven portion of the PPP loan has been extended from two years to five years.[2]

Borrowers are now able to spend their PPP loan proceeds in a more flexible manner than previously permitted. As with the initial rollout of the PPP, it will be up to the Department of the Treasury and the Small Business Administration to provide regulations with respect to the Act.

O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing remains open and ready to help you. For questions or further information relating to the Paycheck Protection Program, please speak to your regular OCHDL contact, or the authors of this article, attorneys Ryan Onosko, Jason Scoby, and Pete Faust.

 

[1]  If the borrower would like, it can still elect to have the eight week period apply.

[2] This provision of the Act only affects borrowers whose PPP loan is disbursed after its enactment.  With respect to an already existing PPP loan, the Act states specifically that nothing in the Act will “prohibit lenders and borrowers from mutually agreeing to modify the maturity terms of a covered loan.”

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