05.21.20

Daines Pushes for Greater PPP Flexibility to Support Montana Small Businesses, Workers

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines introduced two bipartisan proposals to provide greater flexibility for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to support and provide more relief for Montana’s small businesses and workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.  

Daines PPP Fix

To download the full statement, click HERE.

“Montana small businesses need more flexibility under the Paycheck Protection Program to keep their doors open, support their workers and protect Montana jobs as we work to safely reopen the economy,” Daines said. “PPP has been a great success for most small businesses, but we need to act to make it work for all Montana small businesses and workers. My bipartisan proposal is a result from listening to feedback from Montanans on what flexibility they need under PPP to make it even more effective.” 

Daines is pushing to provide flexibility to PPP to:

  • Allow forgiveness for expenses beyond the 8-week covered period 
    • This is critical for small businesses that applied for their PPP loan and received it before they were able to open their doors. This helps small businesses help workers stay employed, otherwise employees may be furloughed or without a job at the end of the eight weeks.
  • Add flexibility to the limit on non-payroll expenses to 25% of loan proceeds
    • Currently, under PPP, small businesses can only use 25% of their loan/grant for non-employee related expenses. Expanding flexibility will help keep small businesses doors open and workers employed.  
  • Move rehiring safe harbor from June 30
    • Currently, under PPP, a small business has to hire their employees back by June 30th. Due to enhanced unemployment insurance under the CARES Act, some small businesses are having trouble rehiring workers. Without greater flexibility, some small businesses may be forced to close their doors if they’re unable to rehire workers. Therefore, increasing flexibility helps keep the doors open and give workers a place to go back to work. It also helps give Montanans on unemployment insurance more incentives to get back to work.
  • Extend the rehiring deadline to help small businesses rehire employees
    • Employers must currently rehire employees by June 30, 2020 to receive loan forgiveness. Extending this deadline would give businesses flexibility to hire back staff while they restart their operations.
    • Employees will not have jobs to come back to if the small business goes bankrupt. This will help give businesses more time to ramp up their operations at a steady pace, and they still have to hire their employees back in order to receive full loan forgiveness.
  • Ensure full access to payroll tax deferment for businesses that take PPP loans.   
    • Extending will give more relief to small businesses because currently, borrowers can only defer their payroll taxes up until the date on which their loan is forgiven. This would allow PPP borrowers to delay employer-side payroll taxes through 2020.
  • Clarify that the current lender hold-harmless provision relates to all SBA/Treasury guidance regarding PPP loans. This would ensure that lenders who followed PPP guidance released by SBA/Treasury could not later be held liable if that guidance subsequently changed. 

Background:

Daines has been leading the efforts in Congress to respond to the coronavirus outbreak impacting the country. To read about Daines’ COVID-19 related efforts, click HERE.  

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