Big News! PPP Changes Now in Effect
Law Provides Flexibility for Businesses
Seeking PPP Loan Forgiveness
The Paycheck Protection Program was created to keep workers employed and to businesses afloat while many were shut down due to the Safer at Home order. Yet many owners soon voiced concerns about the initial version of the Program, as owners struggled to find work for workers in a closed business, and conflicts arose for some employees receiving federal unemployment dollars.

Many of these initial concerns have been abated with the passage of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act , which was signed into law today (June 5, 2020). For reference, the initial Paycheck Protection Program allotted business owners an 8-week window during which they could receive loan forgiveness. This window began as soon as the loan was processed and required 75% of the forgivable funds to be spent on payroll costs. Businesses would receive reduced loan forgiveness if total employee FTE numbers were not restored to the levels they were at on February 15, 2020.

Key Changes
The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act includes the following allowances:
  • The 8-week loan forgiveness period has now been extended to 24 weeks after the loan is issued, or until December 31, 2020 - whichever comes first.
  • The payroll spending requirements have been reduced from an original 75% to 60%, allowing businesses more flexibility to spend the remainder of the money on qualified non-payroll expenses like rent and utilities.
  • Employers are not penalized in determining the forgiveness amount for employees who do not return to work IF the employer can properly document:
  • An inability "in good faith" to rehire the same or "similarly qualified" individuals for unfilled (since February 15, 2020) positions on or before December 31 OR
  • An inability to return to the same level of business activity as they had on February 15 because they were following safety requirements or guidelines "issued by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration... related to the maintenance of standards for sanitation, social distancing, or any other worker or customer safety requirement related to COVID–19."
  • It also allows businesses to receive payroll tax deferments even if they use the PPP program.
  • For loans that are not forgiven, businesses have a longer time to make the repayments - a shift from 2 year maturity period to 5 years. Note: this applies to loans issued after the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act is enacted; however borrowers and lenders can agree to extend the current loans.

It’s Not too Late to Apply!
Under the initial rules, some business owners chose not to apply for a PPP loan because the requirements were not a good fit for their particular circumstances. These new rules were designed to make it significantly easier for more - if not all - of a PPP loan to be forgivable for businesses. If you have not yet applied for a PPP loan, you may want to apply now .

Read more from our previous e-mail about the PPP loan application process .

Note: An earlier version of this message indicated that the application timeline had been extended beyond the original June 30, 2020 date. The original application deadline has not changed. We apologize for this error.
We're All In Small Business Grant - Applications Open June 15
Funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the We’re All In Small Business Grant Program will provide $2,500 to 30,000 Wisconsin small businesses to assist with the costs of business interruption or for health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages and inventory.

To be eligible, businesses must:
  • be a Wisconsin-based, for-profit business;
  • employ 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, including the owner;
  • earn greater than $0 but less than $1 million in annual revenues (gross sales and receipts); and
  • have started operating prior to Jan. 1, 2020, and have been in business in February 2020.

Application Period
The online grant application will be accessible for one week from 8 a.m. Monday, June 15, through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, June 21. Learn more about the grant in this video from WEDC CEO Missy Hughes .

The UW-River Falls SBDC is offering free virtual training sessions on what you need to prepare:
  • Mon 6/8 9-9:30 am
  • Tues 6/9 12-12:30 pm
  • Wed 6/10 9-9:30 am
  • Thurs 6/11 12-12:30 pm
  • Fri 6/12 9-9:30 am 

Gather Your Materials
Applicants are encouraged to prepare for the one-week application period by gathering the following required documents:
  • 2018 or 2019 federal tax return for business (If you started your business in 2020, you are not eligible for this grant). Applicable tax returns are:
  • IRS form 1065 Partnership Return (no K-1s required)
  • IRS form 1120 Corporation Return (no schedules required)
  • IRS form 1120S S Corporation Return (no K-1s required)
  • IRS form 1040 (sole proprietors) and the following:
  • Schedule C, Profit and Loss from Business
  • Signed W-9 form
  • A letter or email of acknowledgement from a community organization indicating your business was in operation in February 2020. The letter or email can be from any of the entities listed on the grant page. This page also includes sample text for a letter.

The Wisconsin SBDC Network is a proud part of the  Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship  in the  University of Wisconsin System . It is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the  U.S. Small Business Administration.