The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the S Corporation Association (S-CORP) and four other small business advocates issued the following statement in response to the lack of clear and consistent guidance from the Department of the Treasury’s and Small Business Administration’s (SBA) on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
The statement is also supported by the Associated Builders and Contractors, National Electrical Contractors Association, American Council of Engineering Companies and the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors.
Together, these groups represent the voice of several million small businesses.
The Department of the Treasury and SBA launched the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help small businesses stay open and keep their workers employed.
This relief is needed now more than ever. However, changing SBA guidance is causing many small businesses to rethink their participation in the Program. Small businesses need consistency and certainty, and applicants need to know that they will be held to the same guidance that was in place at the time the business applied for a loan.
Some deserving businesses are returning funds or choosing to forego applying due to the uncertainty created by the SBA. As the Wall Street Journal reports, demand for PPP loans has all but dried up in the last week.
This collapse of trust in what ultimately has been a successful program is troublesome and will negatively impact our country’s economic recovery.
The last thing we need is for deserving businesses to lay off employees and close their doors because ever-changing rules and the threat of civil penalties scared them away from the PPP. To fix this, the SBA needs to immediately revise its recent guidance to better mirror the PPP’s intent and to issue additional guidance making clear the terms for PPP loan forgiveness.
Meanwhile, policymakers need to remain focused on the PPP’s original purpose — to ensure businesses have the financial resources necessary to keep employees paid while government-mandated stay-at-home orders remain in place.
Our nation’s economy will recover, but it will take time and it will take the hard work of small businesses that are critical to our communities.
AICPA Continues to Advocate for Frustrated Business Owners
This is isn’t the first time the AICPA has openly asked Treasury and SBA to clarify how loan forgiveness will actually work.
For small businesses who are not used to dealing with federal bureaucracies, the constant changes will make it extremely difficult to comply with whatever requirements will be necessary and could turn these forgivable loans into unsurmountable liabilities.
If clarity is not provided, more businesses will just return the loans and possibly close, adding more workers to a rising unemployment rate, which is already burdening many state agencies.
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