Many business owners turned to the Paycheck Protection Program to help cover their payroll expenses when trying to operate during the midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic. In June 2020, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act was passed on to make it easier to use and take advantage of the PPP loans. Businesses will now have 24 weeks to restore payroll and can use 40% of the forgiven amount for non-payroll costs as defined in the original act. However, great care should be exercised accounting for the 60% used for payroll. It’s a firm boundary – businesses must use at least 60% of the total loan amount for payroll or no forgiveness will be available. The remaining 40% can now be used for qualified non-payroll costs (previously just 25%). You also may have up to December 31st, 2020 to use the funds.
But what if the funds from your PPP loan isn’t enough to cover all the other expenses outside of payroll you need to open your practice or bring it back to full capacity? Or the funds spent to create a certified and safe workplace are not covered in the loan forgiveness criteria? The CDC is recommending that sneeze guards and barriers be placed between patients and staff wherever possible and to ensure that your location is fitted with up-to-date HVAC and air filtration systems. More frequent use of masks, gloves, and shields are required as are visits by a sanitizing cleaning team. In certain healthcare spaces, the case to outfit treatment areas with a negative air pressure system may exist. Making these upgrades can be expensive, and the list goes on with the options available to give your patients peace of mind, from touchless faucets and hand dryers to removing couches and close seating in waiting areas.
One option you have is the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, which the SBA reopened to all small businesses effective 06/15/20. The loan can be used to pay off debts, purchase equipment, and make modifications to your practice expenses that the PPP may not have covered. Until recently, this relief was only available to small companies in the agriculture industry, so this may be worth a look since now most private and non-profit businesses are eligible. Check out this article that discusses the EIDL program and its recent developments in more detail.