Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), two of the co-authors of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), sent a letter to the Department of the Treasury and the Small Business Administration (SBA), urging them to provide additional flexibility for seasonal small businesses applying for forgivable PPP loans. Specifically, the Senators requested that Treasury and SBA allow seasonal employers to delay the start date of their loan forgiveness covered period by at least 30 days.
“Given the January start for re-opening the PPP, we are concerned that seasonal employers whose peak seasons do not commence until the summer months may not be able to receive the full benefit of this payroll support,” wrote Senators Collins and Shaheen. “For example, a Maine or New Hampshire small employer who applies for a PPP loan now may not fully reopen for business until the last few weeks of their loan forgiveness covered period, even if they elect a 24-week covered period.”
“As you continue to implement this next round of the PPP, we ask that you use your existing authority under the CARES Act and subsequent legislation to allow seasonal employers to delay the start date of their covered period by at least 30 days, including by exploring options, with regard to seasonal employers, for relaxing the ten-day loan disbursal requirement,” the Senators continued. “This additional flexibility for seasonal employers would help ensure they are able to benefit from this relief during the period it is most needed.”
The PPP was authored by Senators Collins, Shaheen, Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Ben Cardin (D-MD) and included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was signed into law in March 2020. The program provides forgivable loans to small employers to help them continue paying their workers and cover certain business overhead expenses. Senators Collins and Shaheen secured an additional $284.5 billion for the PPP in the December COVID-19 relief law. Financial institutions across Maine, New Hampshire, and the country are currently accepting and processing PPP applications for eligible small businesses seeking a forgivable loan for the first time and for those hardest hit small businesses who may receive a second forgivable loan. Since PPP first opened in April 2020, this successful program has provided more than six million loans to small employers across the country, including more than 34,000 loans in Maine—totaling more than $2.7 billion—and nearly 31,000 loans in New Hampshire—totaling more than $3.1 billion.
Senators Collins and Shaheen have strongly supported increasing flexibility of the PPP for seasonal employers. In April 2020, the Treasury Department released a rule giving seasonal employers the option to use any consecutive 12-week period between May 1, 2019, and September 15, 2019, to determine their maximum loan amount. The December 2020 coronavirus relief package went further by allowing seasonal employers to calculate their maximum loan amount based on any 12-week period from February 15, 2019, to February 15, 2020.
Click HERE to read the full letter.