The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses.
Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward.
The administration has released initial guidelines; they are available at http://www.treasury.gov. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has issued this guide to help small businesses and self-employed individuals check eligibility and prepare to file for a loan.
Small businesses and sole proprietors can begin applying on April 3. Independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply beginning on April 10.
You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating.
While the program is open until June 30, 2020, the government is advising borrowers to apply as soon as possible given the loan cap on the program.