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Almost every small business in the world is facing  uncertainty when it comes to the current COVID-19 crisis. Hard decisions are being made, business are trying to figure out how to re-open and some businesses are closing their doors for good.

In early April, the SBA rolled out a program called the Paycheck Protection Program that was supposed to help small businesses keep their employees on payroll – aka keep their employees off unemployment. The certifications required in the application made many business owners fearful of taking the money offered because of the vague wording on the application. That was, until the Safe Harbor rules came out. Small business owners everywhere breathed a sigh of relief when it was announced that small businesses loans under $2 million would not be criminally charged if it was found that the funds were not actually needed.

After that big hurdle, all small business owners were anxiously awaiting the forgiveness guidelines. Rumors swirled that the SBA would tighten the forgiveness guidelines for businesses, while others insisted the SBA was not going to do anything to make it HARDER on small businesses to have their loans forgiven.

On the afternoon of Friday May 15, 2020, the SBA finally released the Forgiveness Application and instructions. All 11 pages of it. Once you follow the work flow, which is quite like one of those logic puzzles I used to do as a child, the results seem to be pretty straight forward and not too restrictive upon businesses.

Still, many questions remain…what about the businesses that still can’t open because of lockdown orders? Can payroll accrued before the funding date be counted towards the forgiven amount? What about employees that are still not working because of lockdown orders – the business has to continue to pay those employees – which means they also have to foot the bill for the employer portion of payroll taxes?

Two YouTubers that have been very helpful in understanding the SBA rules and forgiveness guidelines are JJ The CPA and Clara CFO. While I can’t confirm whether the advice and information they are giving is true and accurate, they do seem to be able to put these loans and guidelines into language we all can understand.

Have you been running into problems getting funded? Check out Bluevine.com – they’re a fin tech company that have helped hundreds if not thousands of small businesses get approved for the PPP Loan Program in as little as 3 days.

Information directly from the SBA and Treasury about the PPP and Loan Forgiveness can be found here.

Disclaimer: We are not responsible for the information contained in the links provided in this blog. We hope that these resources at least help bring a little clarity to what is a very confusing situation on top of an already stressful time for many small business owners. Please refer to your CPA and SBA for specific guidance related to your business.


Wendy Caplinger is owner and insurance agent at Neighbor’s Choice Insurance Agency, Inc. She has held her Property and Casualty Insurance License in Texas for over 12 years. She received her BBA in Finance from The University of North Texas and has 15 years of experience in the insurance and financial industries. Her interest and knowledge in insurance and finance, as well as her ability to see often unnoticed risk has allowed her to drive efficiency and growth within Neighbor’s Choice Insurance.