8 Tips and Warnings on PPP Loan Forgiveness

Not having to pay back Paycheck Protection Program loans is a huge benefit for small-business owners. But there are a lot of rules that must be followed to have a PPP loan forgiven.

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For small business owners who scored a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), not having to pay back what they borrowed is a huge bonus. Under the CARES Act (as modified by the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA) in June), the PPP lets small businesses borrow up $10 million without collateral, personal guarantees, or fees. The loan doesn't have to be repaid to the extent it's used to cover the first 24 weeks (eight weeks for those who received their loans before June 5, 2020) of the business's payroll costs, rent, utilities and mortgage interest. However, at least 60% of the forgiven amount must be used for payroll. Small-business owners have until August 8, 2020, to apply for PPP loans and until December 31, 2020, to use the funds.

To have their PPP loans forgiven, small-business owners must first submit an 11-page application (opens in new tab) to the bank or lender that approved their initial loan request. The application, along with other recently released guidance from the SBA, answers a lot of questions about repaying loans that were on the minds of small-business owners. Here are 8 important tips and warnings on PPP loan forgiveness gleaned from the application and new SBA guidance. Hopefully, this information will help prop up the bottom line for a lot of small businesses.

Rodrigo Sermeño
, The Kiplinger Letter

Rodrigo Sermeño covers the financial services, housing, small business, and cryptocurrency industries for The Kiplinger Letter. Before joining Kiplinger in 2014, he worked for several think tanks and non-profit organizations in Washington, D.C., including the New America Foundation, the Streit Council, and the Arca Foundation. Rodrigo graduated from George Mason University with a bachelor's degree in international affairs. He also holds a master's in public policy from George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government.