April 30, 2020: How to Turn Your Loan Into a ‘Grant’

Gusto Editors

April 30, 2020

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You got the money, now what? 

So you’ve been approved for a PPP loan—huzzah! But that’s just the beginning. Turning your loan into a grant—aka free money—is a bit more complex. That’s why we put together this guide to understanding PPP loan forgiveness. Here’s what’s important to know: 

  • “Forgivable payroll costs” include more than just salary and wages. You can also include employee benefits, state and local taxes, paid time off, and sick leave. 
  • You’ll want to have a plan for tracking your expenses over the eight-week loan period. Make sure payroll expenses make up at least 75% of the loan amount you spend if you want your entire loan to be forgiven. (Tip: If you’re a Gusto customer, you can use the forgiveness tool in your dashboard.)
  • Once you apply for forgiveness with your eligible expenses, lenders have 60 days to make a decision on your application.  

In case you’re still waiting for $$$

If your PPP application got denied or you still haven’t heard back from your lender, we have options for you in this article. It includes:

1. What to do if you haven’t heard back from your lender.

2. Next steps in case your application was denied and you’d like to reapply.

3. Guidance on applying with more than one PPP lender. (Quick answer: You can do this, and it may increase your chances of getting funding. But remember that you should only accept one PPP loan.) 

4. And finally, a bunch of other resources in case PPP isn’t an option for you.

Speaking of other resources… 

Q: What has 549 different relief options and is useful all over? 

A: Our new small business relief finder. We moved our comprehensive COVID relief spreadsheet over to a more user-friendly, searchable interface. The latest version includes state, national, and private relief options, and you can search by location, industry, or amount to find what’s right for you. We’ll be updating this resource regularly while also spotlighting new opportunities in this email, so be sure to check back in.  

Here are some of our top picks:

  • National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) & Dell
    • The advocacy group partnered with Dell to offer grants of up to $4000 to eligible applicants.
    • Apply Here
  • Our Fair Share
    • Hip-hop media mogul Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs announced the launch of a new platform to help minority entrepreneurs and small businesses access much-needed funds brought on by the economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Learn More
  • Three loans for beauticians, hair and makeup personnel
    • Pro Beauty
      • $500 to licensed beauty professionals who are unable to work due to COVID-19
    • CND Creative Nail Design
      • $1,000 grants to nail professionals who cannot maintain their regular income during this time.
    • Horst Rechelbacher Foundation
      • $1,000 grants to beauty professionals or students of beauty programs for financial assistance

On our radar

Want more small business news and resources? Check out past editions in our archive.

Gusto Editors Gusto Editors, contributing authors on Gusto, provide actionable tips and expert advice on HR and payroll for successful business management.
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