Changes made to the Paycheck Protection Program

By Mary Jo Coulehan
Pagosa Springs Area
Chamber of Commerce

On May 28, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Act was passed giving small businesses greater usage of the PPP monies that were to be used during an eight-week period. In the Senate, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner was one of the backers of the bill. 

This bill allows small businesses much more flexibility when they can use the funds, what they can use the funds for and extends the terms for the unforgiven part of the loan. 

Here are some of the changes and extensions: 

1. The PPP borrower can now have 24 weeks or until Dec. 31 to spend the loan proceeds and bring their workforce to pre-pandemic levels. This gives many businesses the opportunity to reach their full forgiveness as the deadline was originally June 30. 

2. The 25 percent cap that was to be used for non-payroll expenses has been increased to 40 percent. Remember, however, that now 60 percent of the loan must be used for payroll, mortgage, rent, utilities or none of the loan will be forgiven. 

3. The loan terms have been extended from two years to five years with still a 1 percent interest rate. 

4. An addition to the original program, there is now a forgiveness clause if the business cannot obtain employee levels to pre-pandemic conditions due to the fact that social distancing and health-related directives prevented the business from operating at the same capacity. 

5. The business now also has 10 months to apply for loan forgiveness instead of six months before it is required to start making payments. The new bill allows for the payments to be deferred until the loan is forgiven by the lender. 

These bill changes are all very positive steps for our small businesses. With recovery expected to take longer than the government originally thought, deferrals and extensions are welcome initiatives. 

To find out more about how to work within the new PPP guidelines, check with your lending agency or accountant. Follow the new guidelines and take advantage of this program which is meant to help our small businesses get back on their feet and maximize the loan forgiveness. 

Sewers still needed for masks

Through a partnership with the Pagosa Springs Medical Center, the Chamber has received hundreds of mask kits that need to be sewn. 

We have many businesses that would like to help our locals and visitors practice “My Mask Protects You/Your Mask Protects Me” concept. 

These kits come with the bias tape for the ties, the colorful material and the instructions. If you are a sewer and could donate some time to help us get these masks to our business community, we would all be very grateful. 

They are easy enough for beginning sewers. Contact the Chamber at 264-2360. You can pick up any amount and that would help the cause. Thank you, Pagosa sewers. 

This story was posted on June 11, 2020.