By Jonathan Penrose
YLOA/YSPUC General Manager

The Payroll Protection Program (PPP) received some much needed revision recently that will benefit our community and association. 

The PPP provides federal funding to businesses in financial need to help weather the fiscal effects of Covid-19. When these funds are used in compliance with federal guidelines they are eligible for 100% forgiveness — essentially becoming federal grants. 

The original conditions of PPP forgiveness had several conditions, including:

1) Using the funds within 8 weeks of receipt. 
2) Using at least 75% of the funds for payroll
3) Retaining staffing levels at 100% of pre-Covid levels (or rehiring staff at the same wage and hours by June 30th)

Additionally, the forgiveness application was incredibly complicated, detailed, and, in some places, differed from the actual details of the CARES Act which authorized the PPP program. 

Also, the interpretation and guidelines for the program have changed several times in the last 2 months — making it difficult for businesses to meet the forgiveness requirements (except in a few special cases). 

I have spent a considerable amount of time in the last two months engrossed in the details in an effort to maximize the available forgiveness for YLOA and YSPUC. 

But GREAT NEWS! 

As of last Friday, the forgiveness terms of the PPP have been greatly relaxed. 

1) Businesses now have 24 weeks to use the funds, instead of 8.
2) Required usage for payroll has been reduced to 60%.
3) The rehire date to return to full staffing has been extended until the end of the year. 

Together these changes make it much easier for businesses to use PPP funds in a way that maximizes the forgiveness — which is very good for us — and indeed, for nearly all businesses that applied and qualified for funds. 

While there are still some details that we need to determine and some remaining incongruities with the original legislation, this will help us maximize the amount of federal funds for our community. 

And, it greatly reduces the amount of time and pressure we were operating under with the June deadline enabling us to focus more on other issues and opportunities.