Skeptical about PPP Round 2?

Awaiting with skeptical, masked, and bated breath.

Since April 3rd, many of you have relayed frustration with the application process and inability to receive funding from the initial PPP loan roll out. Others who were lucky enough to receive approval (with an actual SBA loan #) celebrated quietly and are now finding themselves searching for answers of which there seem to be few definitive answers. (These include how to spend the money; especially if employees are hesitant to return to work or choose to stay home and collect more from unemployment than while working). In either case, small business owners are left feeling the effects of a well-intentioned program that is perhaps best summed up as “easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.”
This week the Senate voted unanimously to allocate another $484 billion in an interim relief fund, $310 billion of which will top off the depleted PPP fund directly, with an additional $60 billion specifically for smaller lending institutions. The House is expected to pass the measure today (Thursday, April 23), with President Trump signing it into law by week’s end.

In less than 2 weeks, the initial $350 billion in PPP funds were exhausted leaving nearly 80% of small business owners who had applied in the lurch. The burning question is, Will the second round be any better?

Some say there is reason to be hopeful that the distribution of funds will go a bit more smoothly in the second round than in the first. Lack of clarity around federal underwriting rules for financial institutions, combined with technological issues with the SBA’s processing platform E-Tran, as well as a holdup in approving non-SBA lenders, slowed the initial rollout of the program – particularly for very small businesses that didn’t have extensive banking relationships prior to the COVID-19 crisis (ironically the ones who are at most risk and found themselves at the back of a very long line).

If you previously submitted an application (along with documents) and were not approved or were lost in the shuffle, reach back out to your lender right away and see if they are able to submit for you again. If this is not possible or if your lender has chosen not to participate in the second round of PPP, you can try to find another lender (with the understanding that you will be placed at the end of the line). Either way, you should spend time Googling other types of loans or grants that may be available to you (from community programs to big guns like Facebook).

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