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The Sikh Coalition News
February 24, 2021
  • Time Sensitive Update on COVID-19 Relief Opportunity for Small Businesses and Nonprofits

    February 24, 2021 (Washington, DC) -- On Monday, President Biden announced changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), originally created by the CARES Act, that is promised to reach more minority-owned small businesses and nonprofits (including gurdwaras) that may not have previously received forgivable loans from the federal government. This new application window closes on March 31; read more below for information about how to apply for this latest round of funding.

    Since last year, the Sikh Coalition has worked to provide a wealth of COVID-19 resources in English and Punjabi, including comprehensive analysis of all federal government assistance for individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and gurdwaras impacted by COVID-19. As we move into the next phase of the pandemic, we are also working--in consultation with the North American Sikh Medical and Dental Association, Sikh Family Center, and Jakara Movement--to provide information about the COVID-19 vaccines. If you haven’t already, be sure to RSVP to our vaccine webinar this Saturday with Sikh physicians and gurdwara leaders!

    Exclusive Two-Week Window to Apply

    There is now an exclusive two-week window from February 24 through March 10 for which only small businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees and sole proprietors will be eligible to apply with lenders for a PPP loan. This change effectively puts sole proprietors, small businesses and small nonprofits at the front of the line for the PPP loans. To learn more about PPP loan availability for gurdwaras and other faith-based organizations, you can visit the Small Business Association’s (SBA) Frequently Asked Questions.

    It is recommended that eligible businesses and nonprofits apply as soon as they can, as PPP loans are offered on a first come, first serve basis. If you have already applied but are not making progress, consider a different lender--though it is strongly recommended that businesses obtain funding only from an SBA-approved lender. To find a lender that is providing SBA-approved loans, visit the SBA’s website. To see what information is needed to complete the PPP loan application, click here.

    Once you have applied, make sure to follow up with the lender and ensure your application is processed; some lenders are asking consumers to sign notes before approval. The application is approved and in process only when you receive an SBA Loan Number. If you are having problems understanding what financial assistance is available to your business or how to apply, you can also locate a local SBA partner.

    Changes to the PPP Loan Amount Formula

    The maximum PPP loan amount is 2.5 times a business’s average monthly payroll costs up to $10 million. The SBA will also allow sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support than previously calculated. Loans are now based on gross income; this change will allow unprofitable businesses to qualify and allow many applicants to collect much larger loans. (Previously, loans were calculated based on a business’s profit reported on annual taxes.)

    If you have already applied for a PPP loan, the SBA will not retroactively change loans that have already been disbursed, and you will not be able to return the loans and reapply.

    More Business Owners Eligible

    More business owners are now eligible for PPP loans than ever before. This includes the following business owners: lawful residents that are not United States citizens, individuals who are delinquent or in default on federal student loan debt, and individuals with felony convictions not related to fraud.

    Clarification for Visa and Green Card Holders

    The PPP allows all lawful U.S. residents with visas or green cards to apply for funding, but guidance on eligibility and access has not been clear or consistent. Those who do not yet have a Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number can now apply for a PPP loan using their Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs). This change will increase PPP funding to business owners who use ITINs to pay their taxes.

    Second Draw PPP Loans for Businesses and Nonprofits

    Businesses and nonprofits (including gurdwaras) that have previously received a PPP loan may be eligible for a Second Draw PPP Loan. The loan terms are the same as the original PPP loan: a five year loan with 1 percent interest that is forgiven as long as the same qualifications for the original PPP loans are met. At least $25 billion is being set aside for Second Draw PPP Loans to eligible borrowers with a maximum of 10 employees or for loans of $250,000 or less to eligible borrowers in low or moderate income neighborhoods. This program is open until March 31. To find a lender that is providing SBA-approved loans, visit the SBA’s website. To see what information is needed to complete the Second Draw PPP Loan application, click here.

    This Second Draw PPP Loan can be used to help with payroll costs (including benefits), mortgage interest, rent, utilities, worker protection costs related to COVID-19, uninsured property damage costs caused by looting or vandalism, and additional costs and expenses for operations. Businesses and nonprofits are eligible for a Second Draw PPP Loan if they meet the following requirements:
    • Previously received a PPP loan and will use or has used the full amount only for authorized uses;
    • Has no more than 300 employees; and
    • Has at least a 25 percent reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.

    Summary

    The Paycheck Protection Program, re-launched on January 11, has awarded more than $140 billion to 1.9 million small businesses with an average loan amount of $73,000. The PPP is a forgivable five year loan with 1 percent interest administered by the SBA and does not require any collateral or personal guarantees. Loans are forgiven when businesses and nonprofits use 60 percent of the funds towards payroll and authorized expenses within 24 weeks. Authorized expenses include business mortgage interest, rent or lease payments, and utility payments. Payroll costs (up to $100,000 for each U.S.-based employee per year) can include salary, wages, commissions, tips, bonuses, and hazard pay. As of December, there was approximately $104 billion of funding still available to businesses and nonprofits (including gurdwaras).

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.

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