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THE CASE FOR STREAMLINED PPP FORGIVENESS
The nation’s small businesses, and the millions of men and women who work at them, are the foundations of communities across the country and our nation’s economy. As a result of COVID-19, millions of small business owners have been forced to shutter operations with little to no revenue coming in.
Luckily, Congress extended them a lifeline with the passage of the Paycheck Protection Program and the banking industry quickly came together to implement this forgivable loan program. There were some hurdles along the way for both small businesses and lenders due to constantly changing guidelines and seemingly antiquated government computer systems, but in the end the nation’s financial institutions working with the Small Business Administration were able to make more than $525 billion in loans to more than 5.2 million small businesses — undoubtedly saving tens of millions of jobs in the process. In all, two decades worth of government-backed small business loans were made in a matter of months.
The overwhelming majority of PPP recipients do not have full-time financial professionals on their staff. Streamlining the forgiveness process for small businesses with loans $150,000 and below would help approximately 85% of total PPP recipients. Rather than requiring owners to hire accountants or play one themselves, the government should streamline the forgiveness process for the smallest businesses so these entrepreneurs can focus their time on rebuilding local economies, not completing burdensome paperwork.
With the resources below, learn more about CBA's work to streamline PPP forgiveness.
WHAT SMALL BUSINESSES ARE SAYING
“Businesses are now facing a lengthy, complex stack of government forms to apply for forgiveness. It’s estimated the process can cost up to $4,000 and require 20 to 100 hours of work. When I first received the forms, I thought to myself ‘there must be a better way.’” - Jenny Bradley, North Carolina
“I know firsthand how complicated this process can be for most small businesses. As a CPA, my colleagues and I spent more than 100 hours interpreting the current forgiveness guidance for our clients. Many small businesses simply do not have the time and resources to do the same.” – Mandy Solomon, Louisiana
"The last thing we need to be spending our time and resources on right now is filling out lengthy, bureaucratic paperwork." – Clint Harris, Delaware
"The loans have been extremely beneficial in keeping our economy moving, but with no end in sight from this virus, our elected officials must continue working to help small businesses survive ... [PPP streamlined forgiveness legislation] is simple, smart, and has the capability to help millions of Americans." – Steve Waatti, Montana
CBA has been leading a coalition of more than 100 trade associations representing businesses, non-profits and lenders in calling on Congress to streamline PPP forgiveness to help the smallest businesses receiving PPP loans. A snapshot of our work is below.
- “In order to help our nation’s smallest businesses, we urge Congress to quickly pass this legislation that would forgive PPP loans of less than $150,000 upon the borrower’s completion of a simple, one-page forgiveness document. PPP loans of $150,000 and under account for 86 percent of total PPP recipients, but less than 27 percent of PPP loan dollars. Expediting the loan forgiveness process for many of these hard-hit businesses will save more than $7 billion dollars and hours of paperwork.” – Coalition Letter, July 9
- “Small businesses and their employees are the backbone of our nation’s economy and communities. Their time and resources would be better focused on getting the economy safely back up and running, not processing burdensome paperwork.” – Coalition Letter, July 31
- “The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), established by Congress, provided millions of small businesses the economic relief they needed to meet the challenges posed by the COVID-19crisis. Now that the program has ended, small business owners and nonprofits are facing the challenges of reopening local economies in a time of uncertainty, retooling their businesses, working to protect the health of both customers and employees, and serving the needs of the community. Small businesses across the country are facing the time-consuming and costly process of applying for PPP loan forgiveness.” – Coalition Letter, September 17
- “Banks and businesses have complained that the forgiveness process for PPP loans, which started this month, is too onerous. According to a September report by the Government Accountability Office, a watchdog for the U.S. Congress, a loan forgiveness application could take some borrowers 15 hours to complete, and a complex application could take a bank 50-75 hours to review.” – Reuters, October 9
In the News:
'Congress has to finish its job': Richard Hunt on PPP program (Yahoo Finance)
PPP loan forgiveness requirements loosened as some fight for more small business help (Fox13 Salt Lake City)
Is It Easier to Ask for Forgiveness Than Permission? Not for PPP Loans Under $150K (AQN Strategies Analysis)