Fifty-one state bankers associations today raised concerns that the forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program loans may be overly burdensome for the nation’s small businesses. In a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza, the groups called for a de minimis exception for small firms that would provide complete PPP loan forgiveness upon the completion of a simplified, one-page attestation.
SBA and Treasury earlier this month released an 11-page forgiveness application—with an estimated three-hour completion time—that borrowers must complete in order to have their PPP loans forgiven. They also issued additional guidance for borrowers and lenders. The associations noted that due to the burdensome and technical nature of the forgiveness process, small PPP borrowers may be required to hire outside experts to ensure compliance.
“We believe it would best serve the interests of small business owners, taxpayers, and the policy objectives established by Congress, to consider making the loan forgiveness process easier and less technical for smaller borrowers, whose businesses are already at greatest risk because of COVID-19,” the groups wrote. “[S]implifying the forgiveness application process for the smallest borrowers will provide additional relief to struggling small businesses by eliminating the existing requirement to spend hours dealing with unnecessarily complicated paperwork, performing calculations, or expending precious dollars on consultants in order to comply.