SBA to accept PPP loans only from smallest lenders for 8 hours today

From 4 p.m. until midnight ET, the application window will be open exclusively to lenders with less than $1 billion in assets.
By Ken Tysiac

The smallest lenders and their small business clients will have an exclusive opportunity to submit applications for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) from 4 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. ET today, according to an SBA lending operations update.

During this eight-hour period, the SBA systems will accept loans only from lending institutions with asset sizes less than $1 billion. Lenders with asset sizes greater than $1 billion will be able to submit loans outside of the processing time that’s reserved today for smaller lenders.

The SBA and Treasury will evaluate whether to create more reserved processing periods for smaller lenders at a later date.

After complaints that large businesses received a large portion of the $349 billion Congress initially devoted to the PPP, the SBA has made efforts to make funding accessible to small businesses.

The SBA began processing an additional round of $310 billion in PPP funding Monday. The SBA last week warned that larger companies may not qualify for PPP loans, and some larger companies have announced that they are returning the funds that they received through the PPP.

On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza announced that the SBA will review all loans in excess of $2 million to make sure borrowers’ self-certification for the loans was appropriate.

“We have noted the large number of companies that have appropriately reevaluated their need for PPP loans and promptly repaid loan funds in response to SBA guidance reminding all borrowers of an important certification required to obtain a PPP loan,” Mnuchin and Carranza said in a statement. “To further ensure PPP loans are limited to eligible borrowers, the SBA has decided, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, that it will review all loans in excess of $2 million, in addition to other loans as appropriate, following the lender’s submission of the borrower’s loan forgiveness application.”

The statement said regulatory guidance regarding the reviews will be issued.

The SBA also said Tuesday that it will no longer accept PPP loan applications submitted by robotic process automation systems. This update was made with the intention of making the loan processing system more reliable, accessible, and equitable for small businesses.

Congress authorized the PPP to provide forgivable loans of up to $10 million to help businesses keep workers on the payroll and cover certain other expenses.

PPP loans are available to small businesses that were in operation on Feb. 15 with 500 or fewer employees, including not-for-profits, veterans’ organizations, tribal concerns, self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships, and independent contractors. Businesses with more than 500 employees in certain industries also can apply for loans, according to the SBA and Treasury.

The AICPA’s Paycheck Protection Program Resources page houses resources and tools produced by the AICPA to help address the economic impact of the coronavirus.

For more news and reporting on the coronavirus and how CPAs can handle challenges related to the pandemic, visit the JofA’s coronavirus resources page.

Ken Tysiac (Kenneth.Tysiac@aicpa-cima.com) is the JofA’s editorial director.

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