The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was a huge component of the CARES stimulus package aimed at helping smaller businesses and non-profits stay afloat in the beginning of the pandemic. The program was fraught with administrative changes and nuances, but nonetheless 5.2 million loans were granted for a total of about $525 Billion dollars. The PPP was intended to provide support for payroll and the SBA reported that the PPP positively impacted 51 million jobs. A big question is: When do I apply for forgiveness? Now, like my bank wants me to, or later?

The most immediate issue facing you as a PPP borrower, is assuring your loan is forgivable. For most applicants, their PPP loan was calculated using 2½ months of their 2019 payroll or self-employment income. Originally, PPP loan proceeds had to be spent within 8 weeks of receiving the loan. That period was extended to 24 weeks. If you received a PPP loan for $350,000 in March, had forgivable expenses of the same amount within the 24-week period, and met the other rules (there are always “other rules”), the entire loan is forgiven. Forgivable expenses are payroll (with pay caps on owners, highly compensated staff and certain fringe benefits) plus rent, utilities and mortgage interest.

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