June 19, 2020: What’s Up With the New EZ Forgiveness Application?

Gusto Editors

June 19, 2020

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Taking it E-Z

As of June 17, 2020, $120 billion remains in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) fund. As a reminder, the application deadline is June 30. In an effort to attract the last wave of applications, the SBA recently issued a new EZ application for forgiveness and made additional clarifications to the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act that was signed into law on June 5. According to the latest clarifications: 

  • Many borrowers can now utilize the simplified “EZ” application to get forgiveness. This includes self-employed folks, independent contractors, or sole proprietors with no employees. It also applies to businesses who did not reduce employee wages by more than 25% during the covered period.
  • Folks who spent less than 60% on payroll can still apply for forgiveness, but their forgiveness amount will be accordingly reduced. 
  • Businesses now have greater flexibility around rehiring and still meeting the conditions for forgiveness. 
  • Owners now have specific guidelines on how much they can pay themselves and still be eligible for forgiveness. 

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: If you or someone you know operates a business and has not taken a PPP loan, do it now. The government has made it easier than ever to both get the loan and get it forgiven. If you’re still concerned about taking the money, read this piece about pros and cons of the program.

To test or not to test

You’ve probably been wondering about what to do in terms of symptom-checking and testing your employees for COVID-19 as they return to work. Here’s the ultimate guide to testing for COVID-19 in the workplace. TL;DR: 

  • Symptom checks may be legally required in some areas, so check your local or state guidance. 
  • If you decide to make testing mandatory, you should foot the bill for it. 
  • If an employee refuses testing, you may have cause to send them home. 
  • Maintaining privacy for employee records with regards to COVID-19 symptoms and testing is of paramount importance. 

Read the entire guide for detailed dos and don’ts.

EIDLs are back 

The SBA has restarted accepting applications to the Economic Injury Disaster Loans program. The loan amount can be up to $150,000 with a $10,000 emergency cash advance. Loan repayment terms vary with a maximum of 30 years at 3.75%. Here’s a step-by-step guide to applying for an EIDL. 

Our top relief options for the week:

  • Rebuild the Block
    • After launching a GoFundMe at the end of May, Philly-area MBA candidate Alexis Akarolo has already raised more than $150k of her $1 million goal. She’s now turning the Rebuild the Block initiative into a nonprofit to distribute sliding-scale grants to Black-owned businesses nationwide. To qualify, businesses must have been operating by Jan. 1 at the latest and prove they suffered financial harm from COVID-19.
    • How to Apply: Email [email protected]
    • More information
  • Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO)
    • Underserved small business owners looking to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 now have an option for accessing affordable capital thanks to Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO), and its new 40/60 (40/60) Loan Product. Funding for 40/60 is being provided by multiple governmental agencies. MESO is geared to offer this service across Oregon and SW Washington. The program features highly-flexible terms that address the need for capital while also minimizing the debt burden on the business.
    • More information
  • PFund Foundation: COVID-19 Response Fund
    • Dedicated to building communities in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin where lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are celebrated and live free from discrimination, violence, invisibility, and isolation. The COVID-19 Response Fund deploys resources to the LGBTQIA community affected by the coronavirus crisis, by awarding micro grants to nonprofits and individuals that are most affected by the coronavirus.
    • More information
  • See more relief options in our small business relief finder.  

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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