BISMARCK, N.D. - Paycheck Protection Program loans are helping small businesses keep employees on the payroll.
But now that many businesses are reopening, they can look to loan relief as their next step.
The goal of the Paycheck Protection Program is to offer forgivable loans under certain circumstances.
Businesses needed to use 75 percent of the loan for payroll costs and the remainder for operating costs like rent and utilities.
Businesses who followed that structure are eligible for forgiveness through the Small Business Administration's new application.
To calculate the percentage of loan forgiveness they can receive, businesses will need to compare their full-time staff numbers before the pandemic to now.
If they're not at their previous capacity, then the percent of money they'd receive back from the loan decreases.
But SBA leaders said they want eligible businesses to receive total forgiveness.
“This is a program that's supposed to stimulate the economy and businesses or at least help them maintain their operations. We don't want to stifle that by providing some undue burdens on the process, so there is some flexibility built in to this forgiveness process,” said North Dakota SBA Director Alan Haut.
Some of those flexibilities include exemptions for those who made good faith efforts to rehire workers, but their offers were declined, options to calculate costs based on their own payroll cycle, and a rehire period into the end of June to help businesses receive full loan forgiveness.
SBA leaders said they'll be releasing further guidance to borrowers and lenders to further assist with the application process.
If your business took out a Paycheck Protection loan, you can go to sba.gov/ppp to find the forgiveness application.