Key Changes to the Paycheck Protection Program - Updated July 8, 2020

08 July 2020 Coronavirus Resource Center:Back to Business Blog
Authors: Jamie N. Class Erin L. Toomey Jacob R. Adams

Paycheck Protection Program Extended through August 8, 2020 and Recap of June 24, 25 Changes

The Paycheck Protection Program reopened for applications on July 6, 2020 and will remain open (pending availability of funds) through August 8, 2020. As of July 6, 2020 roughly $521 billion in Paycheck Protection Program Loans had been disbursed out of the $659 billion allocated.

The SBA has also made data on loans available to the public, disclosing loan size, business type and location, number of jobs retained, NAICS Code, and certain demographic data for loans under $150,000, and disclosing the same data plus business name, address and range of loan size for loans over $150,000.1 The SBA noted in the release an interest in striking a balance between the public’s interest in information and the SBA’s interest not to harm businesses who took out loans.

New Interim Final Rule on Loan Forgiveness and Application Forms – June 24, 2020

Prior to the re-opening of the program, the SBA released an Interim Final Rule on June 24, 2020 implementing certain changes from the Flexibility Act and updating certain requirements and calculations pursuant to the Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness application forms.

Now Borrowers may seek forgiveness of PPP loans before the end of the “Covered Period” (or “Alternative Covered Period”2), so long as all proceeds of the PPP loan which are eligible for forgiveness have been spent. However, if a borrower applying for forgiveness before the end of the Covered Period will be subject to a reduction in the loan amount due to a reduction of salaries or wages in excess of 25% (the “Salary Reduction”), the borrower will be required to account for that excess salary reduction for the full Covered Period when making its reduction calculation.3 Any portion of the loan amount not forgiven due to a Salary Reduction must be repaid before the maturity date of the loan.4

The rule also provides examples of documentation that can be used to verify to whether a borrower meets one of the Salary Reduction safe harbors:5

  • The first safe harbor provides relief from the Salary Reduction where the borrower can document, in good faith, that it is unable to rehire the same or similarly qualified individuals as those that were employees before February 15, 2020; this safe harbor may be evidenced by “the written offer to rehire an individual, a written record of the offer’s rejection, and a written record of efforts to hire a similarly qualified individual.”6 Borrowers are also required to inform their state’s unemployment insurance office of such a rejection within 30 days of receipt.

  • The second safe harbor provides relief from the Salary Reduction where the relevant reductions in salary were due to compliance with CDC or OSHA, “standards for sanitation, social distancing, or any other worker or customer safety requirement related to COVID-19”, and “must include copies of applicable COVID Requirements or Guidance for each business location and relevant borrower financial records.”7 (emphasis added)

The rule did not modify the requirements for a reduction of forgiveness based on a reduction of full time equivalent employees.

The Paycheck Protection Program forgiveness applications can be found here:

  • Form 3508EZ – For applicants who are self-employed or independent contractors, those who will not be subject to loan forgiveness reductions because there was no reduction of salary or full time equivalent employees, or those who fall under a safe harbor from the loan forgiveness reduction provisions.

  • Form 3508 – For all other applicants.

New Frequently Asked Questions – June 25, 2020

On June 25, 2020, the Department of the Treasury released updated Frequently Asked Questions for the Paycheck Protection Program implementing certain changes to the program. These changes include the following:

  • Broadening eligibility by limiting the type of prior criminal history which would result in an exclusion from the program;8

  • Clarifying the beginning of the Covered Period as the date of first disbursement when there are multiple disbursements;9

  • Extending the deadline for lenders to complete their initial SBA Form 1502 for loan reporting;10 and

  • Reflecting the increased term of loans from 2 years to 5 and providing for extension of loans closed before June 5 by mutual agreement.11

For additional information on the Paycheck Protection Program, visit the Foley Insights blog on the program from May 20th, and its update on June 8th

Foley assists clients in navigating the requirements of the Payroll Protection Program loans and other COVID-19 financing efforts.  Foley has created a multi-disciplinary and multi-jurisdictional team, which has prepared a wealth of topical client resources and is prepared to help our clients meet the legal and business challenges that the coronavirus outbreak is creating for stakeholders across a range of industries. Click here for Foley’s Coronavirus Resource Center to stay apprised of relevant developments, insights and resources to support your business during this challenging time. To receive this content directly in your inbox, click here and submit the form.

----------------------------------------------------

1 Data available at: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program#section-header-0
2 All references to the “Covered Period” apply equally to applicants utilizing the “Alternative Covered Period” provisions of the rules unless otherwise specified.
3 Interim Final Rule on Business Loan Program Temporary Changes; Paycheck Protection Program – Certain Eligible Payroll Costs, Doc. No. 2020-14128 § III.1.c., p.9.
4 Id. § III.2, p.8.
5 For information on the safe harbors generally, See SBA Form 3508 Loan Forgiveness Application Instructions for Borrowers, FTE Reduction Safe Harbor, p. 5.
6 Interim Final Rule on Business Loan Program Temporary Changes; Paycheck Protection Program – Certain Eligible Payroll Costs, Doc. No. 2020-14128  § III.1.f., p. 22.
7 Id. § III.1.f., p. 23.
8 Paycheck Protection Program Frequently Asked Questions (June 25, 2020), Question 12.
9 Paycheck Protection Program Frequently Asked Questions (June 25, 2020), Question 20.
10 Paycheck Protection Program Frequently Asked Questions (June 25, 2020), Question 48.
11 Paycheck Protection Program Frequently Asked Questions (June 25, 2020), Question 49.

This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney. This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary. The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites. In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.