First, late yesterday, the US Senate by unanimous consent cleared the House-passed bill to extend the Paycheck Protection Program. The bill, which is on the President’s desk for his expected signature will provide the following relief:
- PPP borrowers can choose to extend the eight-week period to 24 weeks, or they can keep the original eight-week period. This flexibility is designed to make it easier for more borrowers to reach full, or almost full, forgiveness.
- The payroll expenditure requirement drops to 60% from 75%.but is now a cliff, meaning that borrowers must spend at least 60% on payroll or none of the loan will be forgiven. Currently, a borrower is required to reduce the amount eligible for forgiveness if less than 75% of eligible funds are used for payroll costs, but forgiveness isn’t eliminated if the 75% threshold isn’t met.
- Borrowers can use the 24-week period to restore their workforce levels and wages to the pre-pandemic levels required for full forgiveness. This must be done by Dec. 31, a change from the previous deadline of June 30.
- Extends the deadline to apply for a PPP loan to Dec. 31 from June 30.
- Allows borrowers to defer principal and interest payments on PPP loans until the SBA compensates lenders for any forgiven amounts, instead of the current six-month deferral period. Borrowers that don’t apply for forgiveness would be given at least 10 months after the program expires to start making payments.
- Establishes a minimum loan maturity period of five years following an application for loan forgiveness, instead of the current two-year deadline set by the SBA. That provision would apply to PPP loans issued after the measure is enacted, though borrowers and lenders could agree to extend current loans.
Second, the Wyoming Legislature crafted three grant programs during special session May 15-16 to distribute $325 million in federal CARES Act funding for Wyoming small-business owners who have experienced hardship related to COVID-19. Governor Mark Gordon signed the bill on May 20.
The Wyoming Business Council is working to stand up the three relief programs as quickly as possible while ensuring the application process is secure, accessible and easy to use.
The first grant program is expected to launch this week. Educational programs and webinars are being prepared by the WBC and can be found at the links included here.
Business owners are also encouraged to register for WBC’s media releases to keep up on the latest information on all three programs and be notified when we launch webinars to explain the programs and the application process for receiving grants. Updates will also be posted on the WBC Facebook and Twitter channels.
Check out the WBC FAQ Page here to learn more about each of the programs and find information like how grant amounts will be calculated for the Wyoming Business Interruption Stipend.