We understand that there is a lot of uncertainty and many questions at this time. There are also many resources and a lot of information coming out. In order to best serve the small businesses of Alexandria, we will be compiling information and resources for small businesses on this page.
COVID-19 Relief Bill
Updated as of 1/13/2021
Congress passed landmark relief legislation on December 21, 2020 and the President signed it on
New Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans based on the Economic Aid Act of 2020
Although much attention has been given to the ability of existing PPP applicants to obtain a 2nd loan, for many clients in underserved markets who were unable to obtain first round funding, the rules that apply to the revised “First Draw” program merit noting (many of these guidelines also apply to “Second Draw” credits). $35 billion has been set aside for these applicants, and the guidelines include:
- Borrowers must be able to certify that the loan was “necessary”. The SBA has stated that they will not require proof for loans under $150,000, but other agencies (IRS etc.) may do so. Also, a list of all recipients will be made public (which could create social media issues)
- $15 billion has been set aside for borrowers with no more than 10 employees or loans of $250,000 or less to entities located in low-to-moderate-income neighborhoods
- The maximum available for “First Draw” borrowers is $10 million and the maximum single location number of employees remains at 500
- The maximum amount of loans for seasonal employers, new entities, and businesses with more than 1 physical location
- Eligibility Entities has been expanded, and now includes the following:
- Any business entity
- Independent contractor
- Self-employed individual
- Sole proprietor
- Veterans’ organizations
- Tribal businesses
- Housing cooperatives
- Small agricultural cooperative
- Eligible 501 c(6) entities (must have 300 or fewer employees, lobbying must not exceed 15% of receipts or activities, with total budgets of $1 million or less)
- Eligible nonprofit new organizations
- Destination marketing organizations
- Seasonal employer definition has been re-worked and now is an entity that operates more than 7 months or earned no more than 1/3rd of its revenue in any 6 months in the prior calendar year. Furthermore, they can calculate PPP amounts based on the average monthly payroll costs for a 12-week period selected by the borrower that began 2/15/19 or 3/1/19, and ended 6/30/19, or they can elect to use any consecutive 12-week period beginning after 2/14/2020 and ending before 1/1/21, multiplied by 2.5X, not exceeding $2 million
- New entities can qualify based on the average monthly payroll costs up through the date when they apply, multiplied by 2.5, not to exceed $2 million
- The eligible use of proceeds has been expanded to include:
- Payroll costs:
- Group life insurance
- Group disability insurance
- Group vision insurance
- Group dental insurance
- Tip income can now be included
- Non-payroll costs:
- Business software or cloud computing
- Costs incurred due to social unrest not covered by insurance
- Supplier costs
- PPP and other expenses mandated by federal, state, or local health agency requirements
- Payroll costs:
- Farmers and ranchers can now use gross income for either 2019 or 2020 instead of net income
- The list of ineligible businesses has been expanded to include:
- Entities that have permanently closed
- Businesses not in operation on 2/15/2020
- Publicly traded companies
- Lobbying organizations
- Hedge funds or private equity firms
- Entities organized in the People’s Republic of China
- Entities registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act
- Executive Branch leaders and members of Congress and spouses with 20%+ ownership
- Household employers
- Entities in bankruptcy
- Provisions also include new applications for borrowers that have returned/repaid all their original PPP loan prior to applying for the new credit
It merits noting that further clarification of these guidelines are likely given that with the first round of funding there were 30 updates issued along with 26 pages of FAQs. Also, the lending community will need to digest these provisions and incorporate them into their lending portals prior to allowing applications. This is especially true for borrowers that may seek to increase their existing PPP loan rather than seek a “Second Draw” credit.
SBA Guidelines for PPP2 Loans (a/k/a “Second Draw” Loans)
Late 1/6/21 the SBA released its long-anticipated guidelines for borrowers interested in obtaining a second PPP loan. These new guidelines in many instances replicate those issued for the first round of PPP lending that expired on August 8, 2020. However, based on Congressional mandates included in the new legislation (a/k/a the Economic Aid Act, or EAA), some of earlier guidance was re-written with the intent of providing more funding for businesses and other entities that were unable to obtain funding in earlier funding rounds. Specifics include:
- Applicant cannot have more than 300 employees in a single location
- Borrowers must be able to certify that the loan is “necessary” to ensure their continued survival
- Must have experienced a 25% or greater reduction in gross revenues between 2019 and the same period in 2020
- Borrowers must have either used all of their first PPP or will use all first PPP loan before the 2nd loan is disbursed
- The borrower must calculate the revenue reduction by comparing the borrower’s quarterly gross receipts for 2020 and the same period in 2019
- Alternatively, borrowers can use their annual receipts for 2019 and 2020 to show a 25% reduction
- If applicant entity was not in business during the 1st or 2nd quarter of 2019 but was in operation during quarters 3 and 4 in 2019, must demonstrate a 25% reduction in gross revenues in any quarter of 2020 would be eligible
- If applicant was in operation for only quarter #4 of 2019 and could show a corresponding reduction of 25% or more in any quarter of 2020 then they would be eligible
- Borrowers should not include proceeds from the first PPP loan in their gross revenues for 2020
- Business entities with NAICS code starting with “72” can have up to 500 employees per location
- Business entities under this category can qualify for more than 1 PPP2 loan if each location has a separate EIN
- The affiliation rules for the first round of PPP loans apply for PPP2 loans
- Independent contractors, sole proprietors, non-profit organizations, veterans’ organizations, tribal business concerns, housing cooperatives, small agricultural cooperatives, eligible nonprofit news organizations, eligible 501c(6) organizations, and destination marketing organizations
- Lobbying firms
- Firms organized in The People’s Republic of China or Hong Kong
- Individuals that register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act
- Those that receive grants under Section 324 of the EAA
- Firms associated with the President, Vice President, head of an Executive Department, or member of Congress, or the spouse of any of these that hold a 20%+ interest in the entity
- Any publicly traded company
- Entities in bankruptcy
Terms and Conditions
- The general terms and conditions are the same as the first round of PPP funding, including:
- No collateral or personal guarantees
- Any resulting loan will be repayable over 5 years at 1% interest
- 2.5 months of eligible expenses, except for NAICS 72 borrowers (Food Service and Accommodations businesses) which can receive 3.5 months of these same expenses
- The use of proceeds remains at 60% for payroll and 40% for other eligible expenses, with an expanded use of eligible expenses, including:
- Payroll costs now include group life, disability, vision, and dental insurance (employer portion)
- PPE costs that were incurred in response to national, state, or local health mandates
- Cloud computing costs
- Costs related to property damage due to public disturbances in 2020 that were not covered by insurance
- Supplier costs that were essential to the survival of the borrower
- The maximum loan amount is $2 million, except for multi-location corporations, for which the cap is $4 million
- The program expires March 31, 2021, unless extended by Congress or other action
- SBA guidelines are designed to mirror those for the first round of PPP funding. However, lender requirements may differ
- No additional documentation to substantiate payroll costs will be required if:
- Applicant used calendar year 2019 figures to determine its First Draw PPP Loan amount
- They used calendar year 2019 figures to determine its Second Draw PPP Loan amount instead of calendar year 2020
- The Lender for the applicant’s Second Draw PPP Loan is the same as the lender that made the applicant’s First Draw PPP Loan
- Loans greater than $150,000, the applicant must also submit documentation adequate to establish that the applicant experienced a revenue reduction of 25% or greater in 2020 vs. 2019
- Documents may include tax forms
- Annual tax forms
- Quarterly financial statements or bank statements
- Loans $150,000 or less, this documentation is not required at time of application, but must be provided in conjunction with submission of the forgiveness application
- A new application form has been created (2483-SD), a/k/a Paycheck Protection Program Second Draw Borrower Application Form, or the Lender’s equivalent form
- Applicants will be required to certify that they:
- Will not seek a 2nd PPP2 loan
- Gross revenues declined by at least 25% for the same period(s) year over year
- That all proceeds from the first PPP loan had been used or will be used before the 2nd loan is advanced
- Are not an entity organized under the laws of the People’s Republic of China or Hong Kong
- Are not registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act
- Are not lobbying or political organization
- Same process as for PPP1 loans, with the same timeline of 10 months after the funds are used
- If the amount of the PPP2 loan was $150,000 or less, if applicant did not do so at time of approval, they must provide documentation of gross revenue reductions of at least 25% at time of applying for forgiveness
These guidelines are subject to revision at any time by the SBA. Given that the first round of PPP funding generated 30 separate updates and 26 pages of FAQs, it is likely that there will be clarifying updates for some of the more technical aspects of the program. In addition, most of the revised guidance is retroactive to the start of the program in early 2020, which means that for many borrowers, seeking an increase in their first PPP loan may be more advantageous than trying to obtain a 2nd loan. Furthermore, it is not currently known how the lending community will enact these changes.
Recommended Actions to Prepare for PPP Portals to Re-open
It now appears that the PPP lending portals will re-open around January 13-18. However, in that the SBA just today issued their revised application forms, it is not currently known when individual lenders will have their loan portals open based on the agency’s updated documentation. Furthermore, the agency has stated that they will open their portal first to “community-based lenders”, a classification of financial institution that is not well understood by the general public.
However, in anticipation of the portal for “first” or “second” advance PPP loans, the following recommendations have been promulgated by multiple sources. These include:
- Determine if you are eligible, especially for those seeking a 2nd advance, for those rules are more restrictive. In addition, applicants are required to certify/prove that they need the funding; that the loan is “necessary” for them to continue to operate
- Run the numbers, to determine the amount you may be able to seek, based on the revised guidelines issued 1/6/21. Some entities will benefit more than others
- Revisit your PPP forgiveness application, if you received funds in the first round, to be sure that you have properly documented how the funds were used based on the revised use of proceeds
- Recalculate business expense deductions, based on the revised rules
- Call your lender, if you anticipate either seeking a 2nd loan or want to revisit the amount received from your first loan. Under the revised rules, many firms may find it advantageous to seek an increase in their first loan vs. seeking a 2nd round of funding. However, it is not known if lenders will create a portal for increasing existing PPP debt or require their borrowers to seek a 2nd loan. In addition, if your lender has determined they will not participate, seek out other finance avenues, include online “fintech” lenders
There remain a lot of unanswered questions concerning the new lending initiatives. Many of the program policy changes are retroactive to the initial rollout of PPP in early 2020. Unfortunately, this could create significant confusion.
EIDL First Advance and PPP Forgiveness
As you are aware, under the original PPP program, if a borrower also received an EIDL “first advance”, the amount of that advance would be deducted from the amount of PPP forgiveness. The recently enacted Economic Aid Act made modifications to this provision, including:
- The amount of the EIDL advance will no longer be deducted from the amount of PPP debt forgiven
- This change is retroactive, which means that for any PPP debts already forgiven for the amount reduced by the EIDL advance the SBA will reimburse lenders for all principal and accrued interest, which will in turn, pay off the amount owed by borrowers
This too is good news for borrowers, including those that already applied for PPP forgiveness.
Miscellaneous Changes to SBA Programs and Tax Policy
The recent Economic Aid Act, which became law late last month, included a plethora of changes to existing SBA and other programs that will benefit small businesses. These include the following:
- The Employee Retention Tax Credit was expanded in the following ways:
- The program was extended through June 30
- The decline in gross receipts has been decreased from 50% to 20%
- The tax credit, originally 50% of up to $10,000 in qualified wages (approximately $5,000 per employee) has been increased to 70% ow qualified wages, or up to $10,000 per quarter
- The employee size of companies has been increased from 100 to 500
- Businesses can now claim the tax credit and a PPP loan
- SBA loan debt relief extension:
- New and existing 7(a), 504, and microloans will receive an additional 3 months of principal and interest relief, capped at $9,000 per borrower per month, starting in February
- Businesses in hard-hit industries will receive an additional 5 months of relief
- The SBA will also cover the principal and interest payments on new loans approved between February 1st and September 30th, also capped at $9,000/month
- SBA guarantees:
- SBA guarantees will increase to 90% and will waive borrower and lender fees on 7(a) and 504 loans
There are likely additional provisions that will translate into more benefits to small businesses.
Participating lenders include regional and community banks, credit unions, fintechs, community development financial institutions (CDFIs), and minority depository institutions (MDIs). We will list any such participating lenders that we are able to identify.
While there are likely others, our preliminary information is that the following local banks intend to participate in the PPP2 program:
- Burke & Herbert
- Wells Fargo
- John Marshall
- Atlantic Union
- Truist (BB&T)
Approved Fintech PPP Lenders – # PPP under $150k in Virginia
Fintechs Working with Partner Banks for PPP Loans – # PPP under $150K in VA
Fintech banks processing applications – # of PPP under $150K in VA
Changes to EIDL Program
There were also several notable changes to the EIDL program that merit noting. These include:
- Under earlier versions of the PPP loan, if a borrower also received an EIDL first advance, then the amount of the first advance would be deducted from the amount of PPP forgiven, which would, therefore, result in many borrowers ending up with a small-balance PPP loan. The new legislation reversed this requirement so that entities that received both an EIDL first advance and a PPP loan will no longer have the EIDL amount deducted from the amount of PPP debt forgiven
- EIDL first advances will no longer be considered taxable income
These changes are good news for a lot of small businesses and other eligible entities. However, these changes will require the SBA to create a process by which borrowers and lenders have already processed their forgiveness applications. Also, some borrowers have also repaid their residual PPP balances, and these will need to be addressed as well. To date, fully 21% of small businesses have applied for partial forgiveness, primarily because they also received EIDL first advances. This could result in hundreds of thousands of small businesses receiving full PPP forgiveness, based on both loans already forgiven as well as those that will apply for loans under the new round of PPP funding. This information could be helpful to SBDC clients in the coming months as they sort thru existing PPP debts as well as their seeking funding from the new round of PPP.
The above are our expectations for what will be implemented in the legislation but, as you’ve heard before, the devil is in the details. Our intent is to update this webpage with new information as soon as it becomes available. We encourage you to pay attention to media coverage of this legislation and any information on openings and deadlines. Also, return to this webpage for updates.
OTHER SUGGESTIONS FOR WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW
- Be ready to act quickly once the application process is announced.
- Keep track of your financial records by quarters for 2020 and how they compare to 2019. You’re going to have to show at least a 25% drop in gross revenues.
- Contact your bank or other potential lenders (local banks, community lending institutions, credit unions) to ask whether they are going to participate in the next round of PPP lending.
- If you don’t already have a banking relationship (business banking account and bank branch contact), it’s time to get one or search other options such as credit unions, CDFIs, fintechs and minority depository institutions (MDIs).
Grants for “Shuttered Venues” Program
One of the more interesting parts of the recent small business relief act was the inclusion of subject program, which sets aside $15 billion for entertainment venues that were forced to close during the pandemic. Many of the provisions are similar to those found in the PPP loan program; but this is a grant fund with no repayment being required. Also, the information being provided is based on industry guidance gleaned from reading the provisions in the Act but are not based on the actual guidelines from the SBA, which are scheduled to be published within the next 2 weeks.
Based on this guidance, the terms and conditions of the grant are as follows:
- Eligible person or entity – any live venue operator or promoter, theatrical producer, or live performing arts organization operator, a relevant museum operator, or motion picture theatre operator, or talent representative that meets specific requirements, including:
- The venue was fully operational on 2/29/2020
- Gross revenue decline in 2020 of at least 25% from the same period in 2019
- The Grants will be equal to 45% of the venue’s 2019 gross revenues, with limitations placed on how the funds can be used. The eligible uses include:
- Payroll costs
- Payments on any covered rent obligations
- Utility payments
- Scheduled interest or principal of any covered mortgage or other scheduled debt incurred before 2/15/2020
- Covered worker protection expenditures
- Payments made to independent contractors via a 1099 MISC, not to exceed $100,000 per individual
- Other ordinary and necessary business expense, along with insurance advertising, production transportation and capital expenditures related to producing a theatrical or live performing arts production
- Ineligible uses include:
- Purchase real estate
- Payments due on loans originated after 2/15/2020
- Invest or re-lend funds
- Political candidate or party support
It is important to note that these grants will be approved and distributed by the SBA, so applicants will need to interact directly with the agency to apply for these funds. Furthermore, as stated above, until the agency issues its SOP for these funds, it is not known how they will address the requirements reflected in the legislation.
Additional Guidance & Resources
VA 30 Day Fund
The nonprofit Virginia 30 Day Fund provides forgivable loans up to $3,000 to small businesses in need. It was launched by Virginia technology entrepreneur Pete Snyder and his wife, Burson. Working with other business leaders throughout the Commonwealth, the Fund’s goal is to help save as many Virginia jobs as possible while small businesses await recently approved federal funding.
Virginia businesses that qualify for assistance from the Fund are:
- For-profit small businesses that employ three to 30 people;
- Based in Virginia and have been operating for at least one year;
- Owned and operated by a Virginia resident.
To learn more about the VA 30 Day Fund click here.
REBUILD! VA Grant Program – CLOSED 12/9/2020
The Rebuild VA Grant Fund is a program to help small businesses and non-profits whose normal operations were disrupted by COVID-19. The Grant Program allocated all $100 million in funds and is now closed. For the full press briefing click here. To get updates on this grant program you can sign up for alerts and give feedback for the program on their home page here.
PPP – PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM
The Payroll Protection Program is no longer accepting applications. Most PPP lenders have not opened their online portal to accept applications for forgiveness. Their reluctance is based on expected new guidance from the SBA and possible expansion of the use of the EZ application form (now for loans of $150,000 or less). Borrowers have 10 months from the completion of their “Covered Period” to file the application. We recommend that PPP borrowers consult their CPAs, accountants or tax professionals for specific guidance regarding the timing of their application and possible tax implications.
For more information on PPP loan forgiveness see https://www.virginiasbdc.org/business-recovery-center/ppp-loan-forgiveness-explained/.
EIDL – ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS
The EIDL applications re-opened for new applicants only on June 15, 2020. For more information on this loan program see https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/economic-injury-disaster-loans.
RECOVERY RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
As Virginia businesses and communities look forward to safely reopen, the Virginia SBDC network and Alexandria SBDC have developed the Business Recovery webpage to help owners carefully plan for and execute their businesses’ new strategy.
These detailed guidelines cover a broad range of critical considerations. While business owners can use them by themselves, they were designed to ideally be used in collaboration with Alexandria SBDC’s Business Analysts. The guidelines are set forth in three sections: REVIEW, RESET, AND REVIVE. As a first step, we encourage you to carefully examine the questions and resources under each section. At that point, contact Alexandria SBDC at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a virtual meeting with an Alexandria SBDC expert consultant for objective feedback on your questions and ideas. As a reminder, all services of Alexandria SBDC are without cost.
The Alexandria SBDC’s confidential one-2-one consultations have a solid track record of helping business owners through such deliberations. We also have contacts in the community that can help you make opportune connections.