Food & Agriculture Quarterly June 2020 - Page 8

Paycheck Protection Program: What you need to know about paying back the loan JACK MEADOWS This article will focus on aspects of the Paycheck Protection Program relevant to seasonal employers, such as those in the food and agriculture industry. Additionally, this article will discuss tips for how borrowers can maximize the forgiveness amount of their loans, subject to further guidance from the SBA. Because the program has been available since April 3 for small businesses and since April 10 for independent contractors, this article will not focus on eligibility questions, affiliation rules, or the application process; however, please contact us if you have questions about these or any other topics. Brief Overview of the Paycheck Protection Program The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a program implemented through the CARES Act, which is intended to help small businesses keep their employees paid during the coronavirus pandemic. Borrowers can use PPP loans for payroll costs as well as for other eligible expenses, such as rent, utilities, and interest on secure loans. One very important aspect of a PPP loan is that it is potentially forgivable, in whole or in part. Generally, all businesses under 500 employees, as determined by the Small Business Administration’s affiliation rules (unless specifically waived in the CARES Act), are eligible for the PPP. This includes independent contractors and sole proprietors. Additionally, businesses can qualify if they meet the SBA’s small size standard for their specific industry based on number of employees or annual receipts. In addition to meeting the above eligibility requirements, borrowers under the PPP must certify in good faith that PAGE 8