Jul 02 2020
“The Paycheck Protection Program helped countless small businesses keep their doors open and their workers on payroll. . . . I’m glad to work with Sen. King on getting those businesses another tool to help them focus on their core business instead of worrying about bureaucratic landmines.”
WASHINGTON – Today, Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Angus King (I-Maine) introduced the Calculate PPP Forgiveness Act of 2020, which directs the Small Business Administration (SBA) to develop a free calculator for businesses seeking to estimate their loan forgiveness amount through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The bill directs the SBA to coordinate the development of the calculator, providing additional support for small businesses that are navigating a complex web of challenges.
“The Paycheck Protection Program helped countless small businesses keep their doors open and their workers on payroll,” said Kennedy. “Now, they need support to navigate the loan forgiveness process so they can continue helping our economy recover. I’m glad to work with Sen. King on getting those businesses another tool to help them focus on their core business instead of worrying about bureaucratic landmines.”
“Each day of the coronavirus crisis, businesses are facing a million different challenges – making payroll, covering rent and utilities, maintaining the health of their employees and customers, on and on. By providing a free calculator of PPP loan forgiveness, we give them a little more clarity when it comes to planning their expenses,” said King. “This bill will provide peace of mind to businesses who’ve utilized the PPP to stay afloat, and will help them avoid harmful financial surprises. This is an important step to making sure the local businesses we love are able to weather this storm and keep playing vital roles in our communities.”
The Calculate PPP Loan Forgiveness Act would require the Administrator of the SBA, in coordination with the Secretary of the Treasury, to establish a free, publicly accessible online calculator and/or certify free, accurate and publicly accessible third-party calculators in order to provide certainty and assistance to lenders and small businesses as they fill out PPP loan forgiveness forms.
As a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, a member of the Senate Banking Committee and the chair of the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee on Appropriations, Kennedy worked closely with the U.S. Treasury and SBA on implementing the PPP. Kennedy called for additional PPP funding after the program initially ran out of funds in April. At the Small Business Committee hearing on June 10, Kennedy pressed SBA Administrator Carranza and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to provide certainty and clarity about the PPP forgiveness process. On June 12, Kennedy asked the Treasury and SBA to simplify the PPP loan forgiveness application. When it was reported that dozens of Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country applied for and received about $80 million in PPP loans, while knowing they were ineligible to apply, Kennedy asked the Justice Department to investigate the misuse of funds set aside for small businesses and their employees.
King has pushed to make sure federal funds are being directed to the sectors of our society that need them most as quickly and efficiently as possible – earlier this month, his legislation extending the length of time businesses could use funds and allowing businesses to use more of their loans on non-payroll expenses passed the Senate unanimously and was signed into law. In addition to his leadership in reforming the PPP’s timeline and providing increased flexibility for business owners, King has pushed to ease paperwork requirements for small businesses seeking loan forgiveness under the PPP. He has also urged the SBA to provide clear, concise and accurate guidance on eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans and to readjust regulatory requirements so that seasonal employers can access the full amount of the PPP loans for which they qualify. He has cosponsored legislation that would repeal a massive tax break for a small group of wealthy taxpayers that was included in the CARES Act. Since the coronavirus crisis began, he has remained in regular contact with Maine business leaders, including tele-conferences with the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, Portland Buy Local, Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce, New England Council and 500 Maine employees of Sun Life.