The attached documents provide an overview of some of the relief granted to small businesses from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, from which Departments and Posts may benefit. There is more guidance expected to come out soon to provide more clarity on some of the details of these programs. It’s imperative that you forward this information to all your Posts and have your Posts do the same to their members. We know that we have members who own businesses that can also take advantage of these opportunities.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans
This may be the section of the relief that could benefit the VFW and Auxiliaries the most. This is a program that can provide a 100% federally guaranteed loan to businesses with less than 500 employees. The loan amount is based on average payroll costs and the loan proceeds can be used for payroll costs, utilities, rent, mortgage insurance, and other debt obligations incurred before February 15, 2020. Eligibility rules for nonprofits taking advantage of this program are limited to 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(19) organizations. Those organizations exempt under Section 501(c)(4) or another category of the Internal Revenue Code are not eligible. However, it would also cover our members that operate a sole proprietorship or as an independent contractor, and eligible self-employed individuals. The great benefit of this program is the forgiveness feature. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans would be forgiven, and ultimately become a grant to the applying organization. The attached guidance provides more detail on how the loan program works. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is expected to release more details soon on this program.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) & Emergency Economic Injury Grants
This program provides an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small business and most non-profits harmed by COVID-19. An organization must first apply for an EIDL and then request the advance. The advance does not need to be repaid under any circumstances. The maximum available under this program to an employer is $2 million. Any additional amount received above the advance amount under this program is treated as a loan, and will need to be repaid to the SBA at a low interest rate with maturity terms determined by the SBA.
Small Business Tax Provisions
For organizations subject to closure or experiencing economic hardship, this provision provides for payroll tax credits. These tax credits are not available to employers receiving assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program noted above.