May 20, 2020

Dear friends,

As New England states take phased steps toward reopening businesses, we hope that you and yours continue to be safe and healthy. CFNE staff are here to think with you about options to restore business as you manage risk. We encourage you to review reopening guidelines as states release them. Keep in mind that what a particular city or state deems safe may change based on levels of cases, testing, etc.

Current Borrowers Payment Freeze Offer

We’re offering an extension of the current 60-day payment freeze for co-ops that are at highest risk and greatest need. The purpose is to help our borrowers conserve cash at this uncertain and precarious time. Be aware, the payments are not forgiven, but deferred. Interest will continue to accrue, and the full loan amount will still be due, but at a later date. We cannot extend this offer indefinitely, but if your cooperative needs to conserve cash for another 60 days through July 2020 , please contact us to request this option. 

Small Business Grants

The next round of LISC Small Business Relief Grant applications are due Wednesday May 20. ( Subvención de Ayuda a Pequeñas Empresas - información en español ). Grants are between $5,000-$10,000, with priority given to minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses. Recipients must certify that they are promoting the best interests of the community and have been harmed by the COVID-19 crisis.  

PPP Forgiveness Form Released

On Friday, the SBA released the Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application . It clarifies some questions about forgiveness calculations and documentation:

  • Alternative Payroll Covered Period: Borrowers may elect to calculate eligible payroll costs using the eight-week (56-day) period that begins on the first day of their first pay period following their PPP Loan Disbursement Date.
  • “Paid” vs “Incurred”: Eligible non-payroll costs must be paid during the Covered Period or, if incurred during the Covered Period, paid on or before the next regular billing date, even if the billing date is after the Covered Period.
  • Full-Time Equivalent calculation is based on a 40-hour work week.
  • Owners’ and partners’ salaries are capped at $15,384 or the 8-week equivalent of their average salary for 2019, whichever is lower. This limits the amount included in the forgivable amount to 8/52 of owners compensation for 2019.
  • Safe harbors. Businesses that laid off staff or temporarily reduced wages can hire workers back and restore pay rates by June 30th to maximize forgiveness. 

Wegner CPAs will be running a workshop on PPP forgiveness this Thursday May 21. 

Many co-ops were fortunate to be able to take advantage of this forgivable loan program, and funds are still available if your co-op has not yet applied. We will continue to post updates on our COVID-19 Resource Page . We hope you’ll reach out with any questions about PPP applications or recordkeeping to maximize your forgiveness.
In cooperation,
Micha Josephy
Executive Director
Cooperative Fund of New England