CARY, N.C. –
Imagine as an independent dealer who received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan of less than $150,000, you only had to answer a single, simple question to confirm the funds were used in accordance to PPP guidelines. And then the loan would be forgiven.
A coalition of more than 100 trade associations — including the American Bankers Association, Consumer Bankers Association and Texas Bankers Association — is asking federal lawmakers for that exact process.
The groups recently sent a letter to Congressional leadership calling for passage of bipartisan legislation to streamline the PPP forgiveness process for the smallest loans.
“We ask that Congress immediately pass these much-needed bipartisan pieces of legislation, supported by a third of the Senate and 77 members of the House of Representatives, that would streamline the forgiveness process for mom-and-pop businesses who received Paycheck Protection Program loans during these unprecedented times,” the associations wrote. “Expediting the loan forgiveness process for many of these hard-hit businesses would save more than $7 billion and hours of paperwork.”
The groups also pointed out that nothing in proposed legislation prevents the audit of PPP loans less than $150,000 for fraud.
The Treasury Department tried to answer several common questions through this online guide. But the coalition is still seeking assistance because of the extreme need many small businesses currently face.
“Small business owners are working day and night to remain afloat, take care of their employees and their communities, and keep their doors open. However, the interruption of state reopening plans, coupled with concerns of lower sales for months to come, have put small business owners in an increasingly daunting situation,” said Kevin Kuhlman, vice president of federal government relations for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
“Small businesses need additional financial assistance to survive,” Kuhlman continued. “In addition to allowing for a second draw of Paycheck Protection Program loans, this bill would expand loan uses and simplify the loan forgiveness application process. Our research shows that more than 20% of small businesses do not believe they will survive another six months under the current economic conditions.
“We urge members of Congress to sign onto the discharge petition and provide small business owners with the vital financial assistance they need,” he went on to say.
And other service providers that independent dealers often use also are calling for reinforcement of PPP, too.
The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) also recently renewed its call for swift passage of legislation to extend and expand the PPP.
“From the beginning, we have advocated for the support of small businesses, their survival and their ability to employ people,” said AICPA president and chief executive officer Barry Melancon. “It’s apparent that to increase the odds of many small businesses getting through this crisis, more governmental support is essential.”
Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com, the AICPA’s business and technology arm, added, “Money still remains unspent from the last PPP authorization, but businesses can’t currently tap those funds. We need to allow new loan applications and add additional resources to help small businesses during this critical time.”