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We're Here To Help Your Business

America First knows that many businesses are facing challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. We can help businesses cut costs, manage their cash flow, or adapt to current circumstances, through timely business services including:

  • The option to defer payments on business loans by up to 60 days without being charged a service fee
  • Low-rate Business Visa® credit cards and business lines of credit
  • Merchant services that give them the ability to accept credit card payments online or at physical locations
  • Remote Deposit systems that let them deposit checks without needing to visit a branch

SBA Paycheck Protection Program

 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is not accepting new applications for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans at this time. 

 

PPP Loan Forgiveness Update

 

In an effort to further help small businesses endure the extreme challenges they are facing during this public health and financial crisis, the federal government has passed the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Act. The PPP Flexibility Act makes several important and welcome changes to the legislation that affects the PPP, including the following:

 

  • PPP loan recipients now have 24 weeks to use their loan funds instead of eight.
  • Originally, in order to qualify for forgiveness, at least 75% of a loan’s funds needed to be used for payroll expenses. That requirement has now been lowered to 60%, meaning 40% may be used for non-payroll expenses—rent, mortgage interest, utilities, etc.
  • PPP loan recipients have been given more latitude in showing that they have made a good-faith effort to rehire employees and resume/reopen business in an appropriately safe manner, and the deadline for full reemployment of employees has been pushed back from June 30, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
  • The deadline for repayment of any non-forgiven loan funds has been extended from two years to five years, and America First will not require repayment of an outstanding loan to begin until we have determined how much of a loan will be forgiven.

 

Although some of our business members may have reached the point in their coverage timelines that they can begin the process of applying for PPP loan forgiveness, we can’t yet submit those applications because the SBA is currently developing a new portal through which all financial institutions will submit loan forgiveness applications on behalf of their members and customers. The latest information we have received from the SBA suggests that the portal should be available for us to start submitting those applications in mid-August. Once the SBA has completed its portal and we have aligned it with our systems, we will be able to begin helping with our members’ applications for loan forgiveness. Until then we are not accepting loan forgiveness applications. Once the SBA’s portal is ready, we will email those members who have PPP loans to help them begin the process of applying for forgiveness.

 

In the meantime, the current SBA Loan Forgiveness Application is available to review. However, please note that when the time comes for you to submit your application for loan forgiveness, we will make an electronic submission form available to you to help expedite the process. 

 

In addition to making the standard forgiveness application available, the SBA has also published a new “EZ” version of the application that applies to PPP loan recipients who:

   

  • Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
  • Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25% and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
  • Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19 and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.

 

For eligible recipients, the EZ application requires fewer calculations and less documentation than the standard application, details of which can be found in the instructions to the new EZ Loan Forgiveness Application.

 

Both the standard and EZ forgiveness applications give PPP loan recipients the option of using the original eight-week coverage period (if their loan was made before June 5, 2020) or an extended 24-week coverage period. These changes should result in a more efficient process and make it easier for businesses to achieve full forgiveness of their PPP loans.

 

As continues to be the case with the PPP, while the SBA, Department of Treasury, and federal legislators work to refine and broaden the program, additional and rapid changes are likely to occur. We will continue to update you with new information and clarification as we receive it. We encourage you to visit the official SBA PPP web page if you have questions about the SBA’s guidelines for loan forgiveness or about the required documentation.

 

The IRS has also released information related to the SBA PPP loan forgiveness, which can be found in IRS Notice 2020-32.