On Friday, April 24, 2020, President Trump signed an additional coronavirus aid bill into law, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which provides an additional $484 billion in relief funding. The major business provisions include:
- $310 billion to the PPP, increasing the lending limit to $659
- $50 billion the EIDL program, with an additional $10 billion for EIDL grants, increasing grant capacity to $20 billion
- Eligibility for PPP loans and EIDL grants has been extended to agricultural enterprises, such as farms
The bill also provides various healthcare provisions. Some of the major recipients of funding has been allocated for:
- $75 billion to healthcare professionals fighting the spread of COVID-19
- $25 billion to expand the development of COVID-19 testing
- $11 billion to states, localities, territories and tribes for COVID-19 testing
- $2 billion to states consistent with the Public Health Emergency Preparedness grant formula
- $4.25 billion across certain areas based on relative number of COVID-19 cases
- Various research funding to agencies like the CDC, NIH, FDA, and BARDA
News for the Paycheck Protection Program
The CARES Act provided an initial $349 billion to the PPP, which went to nearly 1.7 million U.S. small businesses. However, the program funding ran out in just under two weeks, making it a major player behind this latest legislation.
With the new lending capacity in place as law, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will resume accepting applications for PPP loans on Monday, April 27th at 10:30AM EDT. Many lenders have still been accepting and holding applications for small businesses. And, as it is a “first-come, first-served” program, applications should be submitted as quickly as possible.
Even prior to the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, there have been numerous unanswered questions about guidelines and regulations. While additional guidance is expected, and soon, The Treasury Department has issued a number of interim final rules on their website. These governing documents include a number of changes and clarifications made to the original PPP legislation thus far. We have also provided a summary of the major changes made to the original legislation in the final interim rule published on April 2nd.
Additionally, The Treasury Department has published a Frequently Asked Questions document, which is updated often and may be useful in answering some of your questions about the program.
We also encourage you to take a look at our article that explains our PPP Loan Forgiveness Workbook. It’s a robust planning tool we have made available for businesses to use to calculate the estimated forgivable portion of a PPP loan.
News for Mainers
According to an April 23rd update from the Governor’s office, Governor Janet Mills is working on a plan to gradually and safely reopen Maine’s economy. She is coordinating efforts with other state governors, the Maine CDC, and The Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). At this time, the Stay Healthy At Home Order from Governor Mills is still in effect through April 30th.
“In the coming weeks, my Administration will continue to assess the impact of the coronavirus in Maine and engage with various sectors of the Maine economy to determine how they can safely reopen at the right time in the right way” said Governor Mills.
According to Mills, the plan to reopen Maine will be guided by 4 principals: protecting public health, maintaining health care readiness, building reliable and accessible testing, and prioritizing public-private collaboration.
Part of the collaborative DECD efforts involve getting ideas from Mainers themselves. Mills has established a portal for Mainers to do so at www.maine.gov/decd.
ARB is dedicated to updating our clients and community as the legislative implications of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to unfold. For additional information or questions on this update or related matters, contact us today.
by Barton Haag, CPA