7/4/2020

PPP Loan Extension

President Trump signed legislation July 4th extending the deadline for small businesses to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program, enacted in the weeks following the economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The original deadline to apply for the PPP was June 30th. But $130 billion still remained in the fund, out of $660 billion allocated. Both houses of Congress approved the extension unanimously earlier this week. With Trump’s signature, businesses will now have until Aug. 8 to apply for the assistance.

6/16/2020

SBA Loan Options

Small business owners are busying learning the new “normal” and we are too. The world looks drastically different than it did a few months ago, but one thing has not changed: AAI’s commitment to supporting small businesses remains strong and we are open for business. We are a small business that supports small businesses. As many small businesses asses how to meet the needs of their customers in this ever changing economy, we want to remind clients of all viable funding options.

One notable incentive is the SBA’s six-month payment deferral. The U.S. Small Business Administration will cover monthly payments for all existing SBA 7(a) and SBA 504 loans for a six-month period. This includes the principal, interest and any associated fees owed on your SBA loan. For loans made after March 27, 2020 and fully disbursed prior to September 25, 2020, the SBA will begin making payments with the first payment due on the loan and will make six monthly payments.

In simplest terms, the government is going to make your SBA loan payments for six months.

Suggested Loan Uses

  • Acquisitions
  • Expansions
  • Refinance (including seller debt)
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • Working capital

With our focus on relationships and fproviding sound advice back to our clients, we will work to understand each clients’ greatest needs and create a tailored loan package. Let us guide you through some of the new loan incentives and decipher which solution is the best fit.

Please reach out us to learn more or to help get you started on your application. You can also complete our contact us form and one of our team members will contact you.

6/15/2020

EIDL Loan and Loan Advance Update

SBA began accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications on June 15th to qualified small businesses and U.S. agricultural businesses. Over the last 6 weeks plus, the application process has been restricted to only agricultural businesses that could apply. Now it is opened back up to all businesses. Please apply here.

6/5/2020

PPP Flexibility Act

President Donald Trump signed the legislation into law giving small businesses more flexibility on how and when they use their loans under the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.

The bill gives businesses 24 weeks to use the funds and still be eligible for forgiveness, up from the original eight-week requirement. It extends the covered period to Dec. 31 from June 30 and reduces the required percentage of PPP funds that must go toward businesses’ payroll expenses to 60% from 75%. It will let small businesses allocate 40% of their PPP loans to overhead expenses, up from the previous 25% requirement.

The legislation also allows employers to delay payment of payroll taxes, and it permits lenders and borrowers to negotiate on modifying the terms of a covered loan if there is mutual agreement.

Additionally, it provides an exception to the payroll requirement if the employer cannot rehire employees in time to meet the requirement or can document that it cannot return to the same level of business activity that it engaged in prior to Feb. 15 due to regulations or guidelines established by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding how this will impact you or if you have any other questions regarding your PPP loan.

5/20/2020

PPP Loan Forgiveness: Are you ready?

Payroll Period Flexibility

The SBA has offered some flexibility regarding payroll during the eight-week (56-day) loan spending period.

  • You now have a choice to calculate payroll costs using an eight-week period starting the day your loan was funded or using an “alternative payroll covered period” that aligns with your regular payroll cycle. If, for example, you pay employees bi-weekly, you can start your “alternative payroll covered period” on the first day of your business’s first pay cycle following disbursement of your loan – making it easier for you to calculate your total payroll costs in the loan forgiveness application.

Expenses Paid & Incurred

Costs eligible for inclusion in your forgiveness application include expenses paid and expenses incurred.

  • Payroll costs incurred but not paid during the last pay period of the covered period or the alternative payroll covered period are eligible for forgiveness if paid on or before the next regular payroll date.
  • Eligible nonpayroll cost must be paid during the covered period or incurred during the covered period and paid on or before the next regular billing date, even if the billing date is after the covered period.

FTE Reductions

The SBA issued guidance on full-time equivalent (FTE) reductions that – if not filled by new hires – can be exempted from forgiveness calculations. You can exclude the following situations from forgiveness calculations:

  • Any positions for which you made a good-faith, offer – in writing – to rehire an employee during the covered period which was rejected by the employee;
  • Any employees who during the covered period were fired for cause, voluntarily resigned, or voluntarily requested and received a reduction of their hours.

Restoring FTE levels by June 30

The SBA now allows you to qualify for a safe harbor exemption from loan forgiveness reduction if you restore FTE by June 30. Specifically, this safe harbor applies if the following two conditions are met:

  • You reduced your business’ FTE employee levels in the period beginning February 15, 2020, and ending April 26, 2020; and
  • You then restored FTE employee levels by not later than June 30, 2020 to the FTE employee levels in the pay period that included February 15, 2020.

Keep in mind, these are just a few of the things small businesses may want to consider, but these are by no means all the steps you may need to take to qualify for PPP loan forgiveness. Finally, as a PPP lender, Bank of the West can’t offer an opinion on whether the loan of any particular borrower qualifies for forgiveness.

Additional Resources: Start Planning For Loan Forgiveness

If your small business has received a PPP loan, there are specific requirements you’ll need to meet in order to have your loan forgiven. We will update this page with the latest information we have from the Small Business Administration (SBA).

If you are one of the millions of small businesses approved for an SBA Paycheck Protection Program loan, the next step is to consider and prepare for forgiveness of your loan. SBA forgiveness is not automatic. You’ll need to apply, and there are a number of strict requirements.

What expenses qualify for PPP loan forgiveness?

Remember, the PPP loan is intended to help small business keep employees on payroll. Loans may be forgiven if an eligible small business uses it for full and part-time employee wages during the first eight weeks after the loan money is received.

  • 75% of the loan amount must be used for payroll costs. These include:
    • Employee salaries – Salary cap is $100,000 per employee
  • Group health care benefits, retirement benefits, and state/local taxes on employee salaries
  • No more than 25% of the loan amount can be used for non-payroll costs in place prior to February 15, 2020. These include: mortgage interest, rent and utilities

Get prepared

While specific guidance has not been given by the SBA or Treasury, you will likely have to provide proof of qualifying expenses, so make sure to keep very good payroll and expense records. Some small businesses may want to consider working with a tax professional or a CPA for help with recordkeeping.

The following actions may increase your likelihood of forgiveness after the eight-week period:

  • Keep the PPP funds separate: Consider putting the loan into its own designated account to better keep track of the funds.
  • Keep disciplined records: Create account codes or sub-codes so there’s a paper trail for qualified expenses.
  • Keep supporting documents: Stay organized with your documentation of PPP fund usage – especially for payroll, interest, rent, and utilities payments.
    • Payroll: Retain payroll registers and proof of ACH transfers. If you outsource to a professional employer organization (PEO), save your payroll invoice that shows payroll costs and employee benefits.
    • Utilities: Keep invoices and statements for electric, phone, internet, gas and heating providers.
    • Rent and mortgage interest: Keep proof of payments.
5/12/2020

PPP Update

The second round of PPP funds have gone much slower than the first round, with over $100 billion still left and over 2 weeks in. There continues to be updates on the forgiveness of loans and IRS tax implications. Please read this article for further details: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/350444

4/25/2020

PPP Applications Accepted On Monday

President Trump signed into law on Friday the $484 billion Coronavirus Relief Bill which includes more than $320 billion for the Payment Protecton Program (PPP). The SBA will start accepting applications through their electronic portal at 10:30am EST on Monday.

 4/23/2020

House Gives Final Passage to $484 Billion Coronavirus Relief Bill

On Thursday evening the House passed the $484 billion Coronavirus Relief Bill and is headed to President Trump’s desk for signature. President Trump has said that he might sign the bill as early as tonight. The bill includes more than $320 billion for the Payment Protecton Program (PPP).

4/21/2020

PPP Loan Program Voted Back in Business by Senate

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Senate passed another $484 billion relief package. The now goes to the House, which is expected to vote on the package Thursday. This will fund an additional $310 billion for the PPP loan program. Out of the $310 billion, $60 billion is set aside for small institutions in order to get the monies in the hands of rural communities that missed out the first time around. There will also be $10 billion for grants under the Emergency Economic Injury Diaster Loan program and $50 billion for disaster recovery loans.

4/15/2020

PPP Loan Program Out of Money

As of Thursday morning, SBA is currently unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program based on available appropriations funding. There were 1,611,397 loans approved that depleted the $349 billion fund. Nearly 5,000 lenders participated, according to SBA data. Last week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asked Congress to allocate $250 billion more for the program. However, Congress has remained at an impasse over how to do so.

4/8/2020

WORKING WASHINGTON SMALL BUSINESS EMERGENCY GRANTS

Governor Inslee is offering a new Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant program to assist small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. The grant program will provide a limited number of businesses in Washington’s 39 counties with a grant up to $10,000.
ELIGIBILITY

  • Applicants should have been in business for at least one year.
  • Businesses with up to 10 full-time employees may apply.

MORE INFO AND HOW TO APPLY
http://startup.choosewashingtonstate.com/covid-grants/

EMPLOYEE RETENTION TAX CREDIT

A payroll tax credit of up to $5,000 per employee.
ELIGIBILITY
Business must have fully or partially suspend operations, or had a decrease in revenue of 50% over the same quarter in 2019.
MORE INFO AND HOW TO APPLY
https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-employee-retention-credit-available-for-many-businesses-financially-impacted-by-covid-19

DEFERRAL OF PAYROLL TAXES

ABOUT THE PROGRAM
Beginning in April 2020, businesses may elect to defer payment of the 6.2% employer social security tax through December 31, 2020. Deferred tax amounts will be paid in equal amounts over two years with payments due on December 31, 2021 and December 31, 2022.
MORE INFO
https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-20-22.pdf

PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE

Expansion of unemployment insurance providing up to 39 weeks of benefits, which are available retroactively. The systems are being updated and self-employed workers and independent contractors should be able to start claiming in mid-April.

ELIGIBILITY
Self-employed workers, freelancers, independent contractors, and part-time workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
MORE INFO AND HOW TO APPLY
https://esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19-employer-information#CARES

4/3/2020

Update – SBA Releases Interim Final Rule

The SBA released an interim final rule to lenders to help clarify the SBA CARES Act PPP loan. A few changes include:

  • Interest rate increased from 0.50% to 1.00%
  • If you received the EIDL Emergncy Loan Advance between 1/31/2020 and 4/3/2020; it will refinanced into the PPP loan.
  • Independent contractors do not count as employees for purposes of PPP loan forgiveness.
    • Independent contractors are able to apply on their own.
3/31/2020

SBA EIDL $10,000 Emergency Loan/Grant

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000.

This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.


Apply Here

3/30/2020

FAQ – CARES Act SBA 7(a) Loan Program

See answers to frequently asked questions.


Learn more

3/27/2020

Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grants

Governor Inslee is offering a new Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grant program to assist small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. The grant program will provide a limited number of businesses in Washington’s 39 counties with a grant up to $10,000.

Eligibility

  • Applicants should have been in business for at least one year.
  • Businesses with up to 10 full-time employees may apply.

More Info and How to Apply

http://startup.choosewashingtonstate.com/covid-grants/

SBA EIDL Program vs. CARES Act SBA 7(a) Relief Loan

See how the programs compare to each other.


Learn more

3/24/2020

As novel coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnoses continue to increase around the world, our commitment to our clients, community, and staff continues to be our top priority. We are experiencing unprecedented health, social and financial market disruptions and all of us are directly impacted by frequent changes and uncertainty.

We will continue to operate, continue to originate new loans and continue to service our clients. We will not be conducting face to face meetings at this time however we are available via phone and/or Webex meetings.

In this time of need and uncertainty, the SBA has launched 2 loan programs;  Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and CARES Act SBA 7(a); along with some lenders launching their own relief loans. If you need assistance, please contact us as we will be providing free assistance for existing and new clients when applying for these specific loans.

Many of our vendors and service providers, including lenders, title companies, appraisers, and municipalities, are working remotely or otherwise experiencing disruptions to their services.

What we have observed in the market:

1. The capital and financial markets are highly volatile. Lack of liquidity for non-agency mortgages (such as business purpose loans) is prompting some lenders to halt originations or reduce product offerings. Lending guidelines are changing often (even daily). We will do our best to find lending programs that meet your needs.

2. There are practical difficulties scheduling vendors such as appraisers, inspectors and notaries, mostly due to limited resources and safety concerns. We appreciate your patience. There will likely be some delays in processing.

3. Currently many courthouses across the country are closed or on limited staffing. With e-closings and electronic records not universally available, this lack of access may prevent the ability to obtain clear title policies in many geographic regions. If the government recording office has closed, the closings will have to be delayed until the government offices reopen.

We are doing all we can to ensure that we continue to provide service to our valued clients. We appreciate your patience. We wish you all good health and thank you for continuing to place your trust in us. For the latest information about the coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit Center for Disease Control.

Please contact us with any questions or inquiries.

Sincerely,

AAI Financial Group

Additional Resources:

SBA Disaster Loan Application Center

SBA COVID-19 Information Center

SBA Disaster Assistance Information