Paycheck Protection Program Loan Deadline Extended to May
With President Joe Biden’s approval, the deadline for businesses to apply for COVID-19 relief through the Paycheck Protection Program Loan Program has been officially extended until May 31.
Unlike the recent coronavirus stimulus bill, supported only by Democrats, the bill supporting extending the PPP request from its original March 31 deadline was a bipartisan effort in Congress, which passed the bill earlier this month. Members of the House voted 415-3 in favor of the bill, while the Senate voted 92-7 in favor.
Representative Kat Cammack said it was promising that the bill had passed with such broad support.
“Despite the very controversial bills that we have seen, I think people should know that there is hope. There are issues we can agree on, ”she said. “It’s just common sense to extend the application deadline to get the support of these people.”
PPP loan applications are processed by the US Small Business Administration. Borrowers are eligible for full loan forgiveness if, during the 8-24 week period after disbursement, employees and pay levels are maintained, loans are spent on payroll or other qualifying expenses. and at least 60% of the proceeds goes to the payroll.
To date, nearly half a million loans have been dispersed in Florida, for a total of $ 35.5 billion.
SBA data shows more than 2,700 Gainesville businesses have received loans of up to $ 150,000 as of August 8, the latest date for which data is available. The names of companies that have received loans of less than $ 150,000 are not disclosed by the SBA.
Florida PPP Loan Recipients:See the complete list of people who received them
Another 480 Gainesville businesses received more than $ 150,000 in March 2021. This list includes restaurants and breweries, insurance companies, museums, churches and more.
The management of the Hippodrome State Theater, which received $ 210,000 to retain 45 full-time employees, previously told The Sun that the funds had helped when the live shows for which the venue is known were not possible.
At the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention, which closed for several months, 31 employees received assistance of approximately $ 189,000.
Cammack said Florida was lucky in that it didn’t face as many restrictions as other states, reopening restaurants and other businesses after a fairly short period. However, she said, the service and retail industries have always been hit hard.
“In our neighborhood, we’ve seen some of the toughest hits among our restaurants… institutions that have really been a fabric in our community like Leonardo’s and The Social at Midtown,” Cammack said.
PPP loans are ‘vital’ but not foolproof
Holbrook Travel, a local travel agency specializing in ecotourism and educational group tours, has received more than $ 700,000 in total in two rounds of funding from the program, said Chief Executive Officer Andrea Holbrook.
The company received its second loan of approximately $ 300,000 in February. This will be used over the next few months to help cover the salaries of 22 full-time employees and pay for basic expenses like utilities and the internet.
Holbrook said PPP loans are extremely important as the company’s revenue has stagnated since March 2020.
“On a scale of one to ten, I would call it a ten,” she says.
Bread and Butter for Holbrook Travel are educational and ecotourism group tours that combine multiple households.
“Even as the travel industry is starting to get back on track, group tours are particularly difficult as they would be traveling with people outside of their bubble,” she said.
Holbrook said PPP loans are vital to his business and an extension of the deadline will help others in need.
“The program is really important in helping small businesses,” she said. “I know there have been some abuses that I have heard about, but the vast majority are going to help companies stay in business.”
Loans are not foolproof. Francesca’s Trattoria, a Gainesville restaurant that received a loan of approximately $ 157,000 to pay employees subsequently closed in August 2020. Francesca’s owners did not respond to requests for comment.
Businesses can apply for a PPP loan online at sba.gov. Those who have already received a loan may be eligible for a second draw loan.