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PPP Loans: Do You Qualify? Should You Apply?

While a lifeline to struggling businesses, PPP loans also created confusion – but new easy-to-understand guidelines cover applying, second-draw loans and PPP forgiveness.

WASHINGTON – Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans created under federal programs to help businesses weather the coronavirus pandemic offer a lifeline to businesses struggling to make it through the downturn and thrive once it ends.

However, the loans have created some confusion, and many businesses who could benefit have been slow to apply. To help simplify the process, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) created a series of one-page information guides that make it easier for real estate professionals and other business owners to understand whether they’d benefit from a PPP loan, which may be forgivable.

In addition to info on applying for a PPP loan, the one-page guides also answer questions about second-draw loans, forgiveness, and PPP for 501(c)(6).

NAR guides

The first COVID-19 relief package passed in April 2020, the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” (CARES Act), had some strong provisions aimed at helping small businesses. It included more than $360 billion for new Small Business Administration (SBA) programs, the 7(a) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) advance grants program.

Since that time, Congress has appropriated even more funds, most recently in the Dec. 21, 2020, COVID-19 relief bill and omnibus spending package, which added $284.45 billion for PPP and $20 billion for EIDL advance grants.

The new law added a streamlined forgiveness process for loans less than $150,000 and gave some hard-hit small businesses access to second-draw PPP loans. It also corrected an IRS ruling and now business expenses paid with forgiven PPP loan money are now tax-deductible.

Both loan programs were extended until Sept. 30, 2021.

NAR offers more information about loan programs on its website. Applicants seeking a PPP loan also have a simplified access application called “EZ Application.

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