Small Business Assistance - Preparation

Get Prepared

Learn about what you should consider prior to applying for forgiveness and the documentation you may need to prepare.

SBA Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Preparedness

On June 5, 2020, President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (the “Flexibility Act”), which amended the CARES Act and modified the forgiveness provisions for Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans. Highlights of the Flexibility Act are included below; however, we encourage you to review the full Flexibility Act here.

The Flexibility Act:

  • Reduced percentage of loan proceeds required to be used for payroll costs to 60% and increased the percentage for non-payroll costs to 40%.

  • Extended the loan deferment period.

  • Extended the loan repayment date for loans originated on or after June 5, 2020.

  • Extended the time period to use the loan funds.

  • Deferred employer’s payroll taxes for Social Security.

  • Provided additional Safe Harbor employee exemptions.

Follow the steps below to prepare for the forgiveness process.
Step 1: Selecting the Right Application

Step 1: Selecting the Right Application

Use if you have a loan of $150,000 or less AND, together with affiliates, did not receive PPP loans totaling $2,000,000 or more. 

Visit the links below for more information on the application:

Use if you have met one or more of the following criteria:
  • Applied for a PPP loan as self-employed, an independent contractor or a sole proprietor with no employees;
  • Did not reduce salary or wages for any employee by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number of hours of employees (excepting laid-off employees who refused an offer to return); or
  • Experienced a reduction in business activity due to health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce salary or wages for any employee by more than 25%.
Visit the links below for more information on the application:

Used for all borrowers who do not qualify to file either the SBA Form 3508EZ or 3508S

Visit the links below for more information on the application:

Borrowers are encouraged to consult with their CPA or accountant, and/or legal professionals to determine the application that is applicable to them. Upon determining the application to use, borrowers are encouraged to complete a paper version of the application so that the information can be easily keyed into the online application through our PPP Forgiveness Platform. Please note the order in which information is entered into the online application may differ from the paper application; however, the information is the same.
Step 2: Get Prepared

Step 2: Get Prepared

The “Covered Period” begins the day you received your PPP loan proceeds. For borrowers that received their PPP loans prior to June 5, 2020, they can elect either an 8-week period or a 24-week period. The advantage of the 8-week period is that it allows borrowers to receive their forgiveness faster while the 24-week period allows for a longer time to achieve forgiveness. If the 24-week period is chosen, borrowers must maintain staffing levels for the entire period and only expenses up to December 31, 2020, can be included.
At least 60% of your loan proceeds must be used for covered payroll costs for full forgiveness. Covered Payroll Costs include:

  • Compensation to employees including items such as:
    • Salary, wages, commissions or similar
    • Cash tips or the equivalent
    • Payment for leave
    • Allowance for separation or dismissal
    • Housing allowance or stipend
    • Payments for group health care benefits, including group health care coverage
    • Payment of any retirement benefits
    • Payment of state and local taxes assessed on the compensation of employees
No more than 40% of your loan proceeds may be used for covered nonpayroll costs. Covered Nonpayroll Costs include:
Mortgage interest on real or personal property
  • Payments of interest (not including any prepayment or payment of principal) on any business mortgage obligation on real or personal property signed before February 15, 2020
Rent under a leasing agreement
  • Business rent or lease payments pursuant to lease agreements for real or personal property in force before February 15, 2020
  • The amount eligible for forgiveness may be limited where a borrower is making rental payments to a related party.  In those circumstances, rental payments are eligible for forgiveness only so long as (1) the amount of loan forgiveness requested for rental payments to a related party is no more than the amount of mortgage interest on the property during the 24-week (or, if applicable, 8-week) covered period applicable to the rented space, and (2) both the lease and the mortgage must have been in force prior to February 15, 2020.
  • Includes payment for expenses such as electricity, gas, water, transportation, telephone, or internet access.
  • Service must have been established prior to February 15, 2020
Eligible nonpayroll costs 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 payment date is after the last day of the Covered Period.

  • 60% of eligible costs are to be used for payroll costs
  • If less than 60%, loan forgiveness is reduced

  • February 15 through June 30, 2019 or, at the borrower’s election, January 1 through February 29, 2020
  • Seasonal businesses will use February 15 to June 30, 2019
Do not include any FTE reductions for positions vacated but not filled by a new employee where:
  • within the Covered Period, the borrower made a good-faith, written offer to rehire any employee terminated prior to April 26, 2020 and who rejected such offer;
  • an employee was fired for cause, voluntarily resigned, or voluntarily requested and received a reduction in hours;
  • the borrower is able to document an inability to rehire individuals who were employees of the eligible recipient on February 15, 2020, and the borrower was unable to hire similarly qualified employees for unfilled positions on or before December 31, 2020; or
  • the borrower is able to document an inability to return to the same level of business activity it was operating at before February 15, 2020, due to compliance with requirements established or guidance issued by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Director of CDC, or OSHA during the period beginning March 1, 2020 and ending December 31, 2020 related to the maintenance of standards for sanitation, social distancing, or any other worker customer safety requirement related to COVID-19

  • For any employee who did not receive, during any single pay period during 2019, wages/salary at an annualized rate of pay more than $100K.
  • Did their pay during the Covered Period decrease by more than 25% from the previous full quarter (January 1 to March 31, 2020)? Reduce forgivable amount by the reduction that exceeds 25%

  • Borrower must have reduced FTEs, salaries/wages between February 15 and April 26, 2020, and must have eliminated the reduction no later than December 31, 2020.
  • If “restore” criteria are met, the decreases in loan forgiveness calculated in steps 3 and 4 are ignored
As a reminder, the CARES ACT excludes from payroll costs:
  • Annualized salaries greater than $100K
  • Taxes imposed or withheld under chapter 21, 22, or 24 of the IRC of 1986 ( e.g. the employer’s share of FICA and Medicare are not included as payroll costs)
  • Compensation of an employee whose principal place of residence is outside the US
  • Qualified sick or family leave for which a credit is allowed under §7002 or §7004 of the FFCRA
  • Payments to independent contractors
Step 3: Required Documentation

Step 3: Required Documentation

Documentation to be provided for Forgiveness

You will need to provide the following documentation to substantiate your request for loan forgiveness. You will be asked to submit the documentation electronically through the PPP Forgiveness Platform. If these documents are not in digital form, please take the time soon to scan these and get them ready for upload. Documents can be up to 25MB and the following file types: pdf, xls, xlsx, csv, doc, docx, jpg, jpeg, and png.

Payroll Documentation verifying the eligible cash compensation and non-cash benefit payments from the Covered Period or the Alternative Payroll Covered Period consisting of each of the following:

  • bank statements or third-party payroll service provide reports documenting payroll
  • tax forms or third-party payroll service reports
    • payroll tax filings reported or that will be reported on IRS Form 941
    • state quarterly business and individual wage reporting (state income tax withholding)
    • state unemployment tax filings
  • receipts, canceled checks, or statements documenting health insurance payments
  • receipts, canceled checks, or statements documenting retirement payments

  • For business mortgage interest: copy of lender amortization schedule and receipts or cancelled checks verifying payments made; OR lender account statements from February 2020 and the months of the covered period through one month after the end of the covered period verifying interest amounts and eligible payments.
  • For business rent or lease payments: copy of current lease agreement and receipts or cancelled checks verifying eligible payments from covered period; OR lessor account statements from February 2020 and the months of the covered period through one month after the end of the covered period verifying eligible payments
  • For business utility payments: copy of invoices from February 2020 and covered period and receipts, canceled checks, or account statements verifying eligible payments

  • Documentation showing (at the election of the Borrower):
    • the average number of FTE employees on payroll per month employed by the Borrower between February 15, 2019 and June 30, 2019;
    • the average number of FTE employees on payroll per month employed by the Borrower between January 1, 2020 and February 29, 2020; or
    • in the case of a seasonal employer, the average number of FTE employees on payroll per month employed by the Borrower between February 15, 2019 and June 30, 2019; between January 1, 2020 and February 29, 2020; or any consecutive twelve-week period between May 1, 2019 and September 15, 2019.
  • Documents may include payroll tax filings reported or that will be reported on IRS Form 941 and state quarterly business and individual employee wage reporting and unemployment tax filings reported or that will be reported. Documents submitted may cover periods longer than specific time period.

  • Documentation supporting the FTE and salary/wage reduction calculations, any job offers and refusals, firings for cause, voluntary resignations, and voluntary requests and reductions in hours as well as the safe harbor calculations.
  • You should maintain these documents together with all records relating to the Borrower’s PPP loan, including documentation submitted with your PPP loan application, documentation supporting your certifications as to the necessity of the loan request and its eligibility for a PPP loan, documentation necessary to support your loan forgiveness application, and documentation demonstrating material compliance with PPP requirements.
  • You must retain all such documentation in your files for six years after the date the loan is forgiven or repaid in full, and permit authorized representatives of SBA, including representatives of its Office of Inspector General, to access such files upon request.
Ready to Complete Your Application?
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Ready to Complete Your Application?

Once you have gathered the required documents, proceed to the online PPP Forgiveness Platform to submit your forgiveness request.

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