Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Updates

If you didn’t get your Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) approved before the funding ran out, get your application ready. Yesterday, April 22, 2020, the House approved the fourth COVID-19 response package, a $383.4 billion measure which will recapitalize several programs that help small businesses and workers financially harmed by the coronavirus pandemic. The oversubscribed Paycheck Protection Package will get an additional $310 billion for forgivable loans to small businesses and nonprofits. It also provides $50 billion for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans, as well as another $10 billion for associated disaster grants.

Some changes were included in this package, such as a small lender set-aside for PPP. One criticism of the initial program was that its “first-come, first-served” nature favored larger small businesses. While small lenders, including credit unions, were authorized by the CARES Act to issue forgivable PPP loans, many found that much of the program’s initial funding had been committed before even able to begin processing applications. To ensure that a larger pool of small businesses can access loans under PPP, $60 billion out of $310 billion has been be reserved for small and moderate sized financial institution. Click here to view the additional guidance released by Treasury regarding PPP. The new package also expands the eligibility of EIDL grants and loans farming and agricultural-related businesses, which are usually ineligible for SBA since they typically receive disaster aid through the USDA.

Again, if you were too late in applying the last time, please get your application together as soon as possible. It is possible that this additional funding could be spent even quicker than the first round, which had previously been committed in just two weeks.

COVID-19 – Funding Update – SBA Loans

We have received numerous inquiries regarding what is included in the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) and the process to apply. Below is a brief overview on the main two ways that businesses can apply for funding now. We will continue to send updated information on the package and other funding sources. It is important to understand that the priority and focus right now is providing emergency relief to help businesses and communities get through this difficult time. While we know that significant economic development grants will be coming, these may  take some more time. We are closely monitoring this process and any opportunities that come available will be shared.

Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)

Here are several revisions to the program that were included in the Act, most interesting is the ability for applicants to receive an advance of $10,000 in emergency cash. This advance may even be forgiven if expenditures are documented correctly, and proper documentation regarding use of the funds is required (payroll, overhead, rent, utilities, etc.). Even if you are turned down for the loan, you are still eligible for the $10,000. The option to request an EIDL Advance will be added to the SBA system within the upcoming days. In the meantime, you can still apply for a full EIDL here, but will need to reapply for the Advance when the system is updated. Other revisions are as follows:

  • Expands the eligibility to sole proprietors or independent contracts, tribal businesses, cooperatives, and ESOPs with less than 500 employees, and all non-profits;
  • EIDLs can be approved solely on credit score and not the ability to repay the loan;
  • Waives the following: (1) the requirement of personal guarantees for loans up to $200,000, (2) the requirement that the applicant must be in business for a year (but must be in operation on January 31, 2020), and (3) the credit elsewhere test.

Paycheck Protection Program

Under this program, the SBA backs small-business loans through local lenders. The SBA and Treasury have indicated that they are hoping to have the program up by this coming Friday, April 3rd. Applications can be made through any lender that is already approved for the SBA’s 7(a) loan program. Companies employing 500 or fewer are eligible for the program, although there are some size exceptions for those with more workers (we can assist with identifying exception eligibility). Tribal businesses, veteran-owned 501(c)(19) organizations and 501(c)(3) nonprofits are also eligible. Independently owned franchises with fewer than 500 employees that are SBA-approved are eligible. Please see the attached – we think that this provides a thorough overview of the program.

We will continue to send updated information as it becomes available.

Greitens’ cabinet clears Senate confirmation

Several of Governor Eric Greitens’ appointments were confirmed by the Senate this week marking an important milestone for the new governor as he builds his cabinet.  The following positions were confirmed by the Senate on Thursday:

  • Chris Chinn-Director of the Department of Agriculture
  • Sarah Steelman- Director of the Office of Administration
  • Drew Juden-Director of Public Safety
  • Anne Precythe- Director of the Department of Corrections
  • Carol Comer-Director of the Department of Natural Resources

Additionally, on Thursday Governor Eric Greitens announced that he was appointing Dr. Randall Williams as the Director of the Department of Health and Senior Services.  Dr. Williams is an obstetrician and gynecologist who served as North Carolina public health director.

Real ID 

The House Committee on Government Efficiency approved Kevin Corlew’s (R-Kansas City) bill that would allow Missouri to implement the federally mandated Real-ID.  This bill, like the bill approved by the Senate Veterans and Military Affairs committee two weeks ago, gives Missourians the opportunity to choose whether they want to get the Real ID or continue using the non-compliant ID currently issued by Missouri’s Department of Revenue.  If Missouri does not approve a Real-ID bill during this legislative session, Missourians will have to use their passports to travel domestically starting in 2018.

Right to Work

On Monday, Governor Eric Greitens was joined by many long-time advocates of Right to Work at several bill signing ceremonies across the state.  This marks the first bill signed into law from the 2017 Legislative session and is a major victory for the Republican leadership in both chambers and for Governor Greitens.

Paycheck Protection

The House third read Representative Jered Taylor’s (R-Springfield) bill that is commonly referred to as paycheck protection.  The bill requires authorization for labor unions to use dues and fees to make political contributions and requires consent for withholding earnings from members’ paychecks. Paycheck protection is part of the labor reform package that has long been a priority of Republican leadership.

Project Labor Agreements

The Missouri Senate spent much of this week perfecting Senator Onder’s (R-St. Charles) bill dealing with project labor agreements.  Senator Onder’s bill would repeal a provision in current law that prohibits the state, or any agency or instrument of the state, from requiring, or prohibiting, bidders from entering into agreements with labor organizations for the construction of public projects that are 50% or more state funded.  The bill is expected to be third read and sent to the House next week.

Utilities

The Senate Committee on Commerce Energy and the Environment voted to advance Senator Ed Emery’s (R-Barton County) legislation that would modify how rates are set for public electric utilities.  Similar legislation has stalled in the past as ratepayers, the utility companies and the Public Service Commission have disagreed on whether changes were necessary and how to balance necessary modernization with protecting ratepayers.

The House Committee on Utilities began its hearing process on Chairman Rocky Miller’s (R-Camdenton) bill that would modernize the ratemaking process for public gas utilities.  The committee ran out of time and was unable to hear from all the witnesses.  The hearing will be continued next week.

Time Limited Demands

The Senate Committee on Government Reform heard Senator Caleb Rowden’s (R-Columbia) bill that sets a time limit for accepting settlement offers of some tort claims.  You can read the current version of the legislation here.

Tax Credit Commission

Late last week, Speaker Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff) appointed Representatives Elijah Haahr (R-Springfield), Holly Rehder (R-Sikeston) and Jay Barnes (R-Jefferson City) to the Governor’s Commission on Simple Fair and Low Taxes.  The Commission is tasked with studying the state’s tax credit programs and offering recommendations to the Governor on improving the programs.

Sales and Use Tax

On Thursday the Senate third read and passed Senator Will Kraus’ (R-Lees Summit) legislation that makes clear that delivery charges shall not be subject to sales and use taxes.  Senator Kraus filed the bill following a 2015 state Supreme Court ruling that allowed the state to impose a tax on deliveries and a subsequent letter from the Department of Revenue in July of 2016 indicating businesses could be subject to the tax.