In a recent interview, top-rated CPA Pauline Ho, head accountant at Laus Consulting in Orlando, FL, offered advice to local businesses on the SBA loan scheme during the COVID-19 health crisis. —
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When asked for a comment, she said, “The COVID-19 crisis has upended the US economy, posing a threat to millions of jobs and businesses around the country. To help combat the downturn in the economy, the government is now offering assistance in the form of the SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan and other loan programs such as the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).”
Here’s what people need to know about these relief programs, which acts as a lifeline to businesses that are the most vulnerable in our economy.
According to Ho, businesses that have fewer than 500 employees are eligible to apply for an SBA loan, however, there are exceptions for businesses in specific industries. Only US citizens or permanent residents with a green card are eligible to apply for an SBA loan.
Small business owners might have heard of SBA loans in the past. However, Ho alluded to the fact that this small business lending program in response to COVID-19 differs in three major ways.
When asked to elaborate, Ho said, "For example, the SBA PPP loans offered during the COVID-19 health crisis are larger than standard SBA loans. The amount of the loan is equivalent to 250% of an employer's average monthly payroll expenses or up to $10 million. This works out to about ten weeks of payroll costs."
“Also the EIDL scheme offers support to meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred. This goes up to $2M and any advance is automatically forgiven.”
Ho added that the second difference from the traditional SBA loan program is that under SBA PPP for example, small business owners can apply for loan forgiveness if used for payroll (minimum of 75% of the funds received) and the remaining for certain significant expenses, which include utilities, and rent after applying for the loan.
“Furthermore, the SBA PPP loan program during this crisis allows you to be eligible for loan forgiveness, subject to a number of conditions.” she said.
“In other words, it’s important to keep in mind that the assistance response is designed to incentivize small businesses to continue employing their staff. Essentially, an SBA PPP loan operates as a grant if your business continues operating and retains its staff.”
If a small business owner doesn’t know whether or not to apply for an SBA loan, Ho suggested that a thought exercise might be helpful in reaching a conclusion.
When asked to explain further, she commented, “Let’s imagine that you are unable to experience any growth in revenue during the next three months. Ask yourself the following: How much will I pay in payroll expenses in order to retain at least 90% of my staff? Which fixed costs, such as rent and utilities, must I pay? Which costs can I cut? Which streams of revenue have worked for my business in the past couple of weeks, and do I have a sustainable customer base to stay afloat?"
According to Ho, by asking these questions, small business owners might be able to paint a realistic picture of whether or not their business will survive the next couple of months without the help of an SBA PPP loan.
Release ID: 88954950