COVID-19 Update Letter: Federal Paycheck Protection Program Now Available

Federal Paycheck Protection Program Now Available

A note from GMC CEO & President, Michael Skelton


Dear Chamber Members,

Over the past two weeks, our Chamber staff has reached out to hundreds of Chamber members to check-in on how this situation is impacting them and to ask how we can help. If we haven’t connected yet, we hope to soon as we intend to reach out to all of our members during this critical time.

One takeaway from these conversations is members are often surprised to learn they may qualify for support through one of the emergency government resources being offered in response to this crisis. Our advice to any member being impacted is to look into these resources, determine if your business qualifies, and if they are a good fit for your current challenges and needs.

On that point, today’s update is focused on the launch of one of the key government programs created in response to this crisis.

Paycheck Protection Program – Now Available and Accepting Applications

Established through the federal CARES Act, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.

Loans are eligible to be forgiven for up to 8 weeks of payroll costs and payments can be deferred for at least 6 months.

This $350 billion program officially “launched” today, and lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as they are able. I would advise any member interested in this program to move quickly to contact an SBA lender and prepare to apply. Two notes of guidance if you move forward with this program:

  • The ramping up of this program is happening rapidly and the federal government was not able to provide SBA lenders with much advance notice or time to prepare to process these loans. Hopefully this dynamic will improve in the coming days as more guidance is provided. Please stay patient if you are pursuing this program.
  • Demand for the program likely will eventually exceed the $350 billion initially allocated by Congress. This underscores the importance of promptly applying as soon as you are able. Senator Shaheen, who was part of the team that negotiated the PPP provision in the CARES Act, has indicated in outreach to Chamber leaders her support for expanding the program if demand exceeds this initial allocation. However, this will require bipartisan support and passage of another federal stimulus package.

For additional guidance, local SBA representatives are conducting overview and live Q & A webinars twice daily at 9am and 2pm EST.  to ask specific questions related to the Paycheck Protection Program and EIDL.  The number is (202) 765-1264, conference ID: 522409519#

Paycheck Protection Program – Key Links and Resources

Please contact the Chamber team with questions on this issue or if we can be of help in any way.

Be well and stay healthy!

Mike Skelton, President & CEO, GMC