• Chamber Member News & Resources

  •  (Jan 8, 2021) SBA and Treasury Announce PPP Re-Opening; Issue New Guidance – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Treasury Department, announced today that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will re-open the week of January 11 for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. To promote access to capital, initially only community financial institutions will be able to make First Draw PPP Loans on Monday, January 11, and Second Draw PPP Loans on Wednesday, January 13.  The PPP will open to all participating lenders shortly thereafter. Updated PPP guidance outlining Program changes to enhance its effectiveness and accessibility was released on January 6 in accordance with the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act. This round of the PPP continues to prioritize millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $284 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses through March 31, 2021, and by allowing certain existing PPP borrowers to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan. “The historically successful Paycheck Protection Program served as an economic lifeline to millions of small businesses and their employees when they needed it most,” said Administrator Jovita Carranza.  “Today’s guidance builds on the success of the program and adapts to the changing needs of small business owners by providing targeted relief and a simpler forgiveness process to ensure their path to recovery.”

    “The Paycheck Protection Program has successfully provided 5.2 million loans worth $525 billion to America’s small businesses, supporting more than 51 million jobs,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.  “This updated guidance enhances the PPP’s targeted relief to small businesses most impacted by COVID-19.  We are committed to implementing this round of PPP quickly to continue supporting American small businesses and their workers.
    Key PPP updates include:

    • PPP borrowers can set their PPP loan’s covered period to be any length between 8 and 24 weeks to best meet their business needs;
    • PPP loans will cover additional expenses, including operations expenditures, property damage costs, supplier costs, and worker protection expenditures;
    • The Program’s eligibility is expanded to include 501(c)(6)s, housing cooperatives, direct marketing organizations, among other types of organizations;
    • The PPP provides greater flexibility for seasonal employees;
    • Certain existing PPP borrowers can request to modify their First Draw PPP Loan amount; and
    • Certain existing PPP borrowers are now eligible to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan. 

    A borrower is generally eligible for a Second Draw PPP Loan if the borrower:

    • Previously received a First Draw PPP Loan and will or has used the full amount only for authorized uses;
    • Has no more than 300 employees; and
    • Can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020. 

    The new guidance released includes:

     
    (Jan 7, 2021) Denver opens applications for new small business grants - Grants to benefit Denver’s most vulnerable small businesses  –   Denver Economic Development and Opportunity (DEDO) launched a new round of relief grants to support the city’s small businesses most affected by the restrictions in place due to COVID-19.  In anticipation of receiving funds from the State of Colorado’s Small Business Relief Program, administered through the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, the city has opened its application portal for this latest round of grants, which will close on January 26, 2021 at 5 p.m.  Denver submitted its application for the State of Colorado Small Business Relief funds late last week, which was authorized through SB20B-001. A decision from the state on the amount of funding the city will receive is expected by January 15, 2021.  “The survival of our small businesses is critical to the livelihoods of our communities and the success of Denver’s economic recovery,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “We know the need for financial support to sustain them during this pandemic is dire, and it is our hope that these funds will help them traverse the gap to open in 2021.” To be eligible for the state-funded grants, businesses must be engaged in an industry affected by severe restrictions resulting from COVID-related public health orders. These include restaurants, bars, taverns, wineries, caterers, movie theaters, and fitness/recreational sports centers. A full list of eligibility requirements can be found here on the city’s website. Per state guidelines, grants will range from $3500 to $7000 depending on the businesses’ annual gross revenue from the previous year. The city intends to insert an additional $1.5M of federal funding into the program to provide support to industries not eligible for the state funding. This along with the state-funded grants are contingent upon City Council approval. Any business in Denver that has experienced loss of revenue due to COVID-19 restrictions that also meets the program eligibility is encouraged to apply. Recipients of the city’s 2020 Small Business Emergency Relief Fund are eligible to apply for these grants. Businesses should apply ahead of the deadline as applications are processed on a rolling basis and late applications could delay award announcements and funding. Later this month, DEDO will launch another program, in partnership with the Colorado Restaurant Association, and other community partners to support restaurant and hotel workers who have experienced a loss of wages due to COVID-19. “Our focus on Denver’s economy has shifted from one of emergency aid to one of hope and recovery,” said Eric Hiraga, Executive Director of Denver Economic Development & Opportunity, “DEDO will continue to act on the behalf of business and workers to provide funding, resources and policy that will carry us into a future where there is opportunity for all.” For a complete list of city resources for workers, business owners, and artists please visit www.denvergov.org.

     

    Minor & Brown: SBA ISSUES GUIDANCE ON PPP LOAN NECESSITY - The SBA just issued guidance on the determination of whether A PPP loan was necessary to support the ongoing operation of the loan.  This is very good news, especially for those with loans under $2 million.    Question 46: How will SBA review borrowers’ required good-faith certification concerning the necessity of their loan request? Answer: When submitting a PPP application, all borrowers must certify in good faith that “[c]urrent economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant.” SBA, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, has determined that the following safe harbor will apply to SBA’s review of PPP loans with respect to this issue: 
    Any borrower that, together with its affiliates, received PPP loans with an original principal amount of less than $2 million will be deemed to have made the required certification concerning the necessity of the loan request in good faith.  SBA has determined that this safe harbor is appropriate because borrowers with loans below this threshold are generally less likely to have had access to adequate sources of liquidity in the current economic environment than borrowers that obtained larger loans. This safe harbor will also promote economic certainty as PPP borrowers with more limited resources endeavor to retain and rehire employees. In addition, given the large volume of PPP loans, this approach will enable SBA to conserve its finite audit resources and focus its reviews on larger loans, where the compliance effort may yield higher returns. 

    Importantly, borrowers with loans greater than $2 million that do not satisfy this safe harbor may still have an adequate basis for making the required good-faith certification, based on their individual circumstances in light of the language of the certification and SBA guidance. SBA has previously stated that all PPP loans in excess of $2 million, and other PPP loans as appropriate, will be subject to review by SBA for compliance with program requirements set forth in the PPP Interim Final Rules and in the Borrower Application Form. If SBA determines in the course of its review that a borrower lacked an adequate basis for the required certification concerning the necessity of the loan request, SBA will seek repayment of the outstanding PPP loan balance and will inform the lender that the borrower is not eligible for loan forgiveness. If the borrower repays the loan after receiving notification from SBA, SBA will not pursue administrative enforcement or referrals to other agencies based on its determination with respect to the certification concerning necessity of the loan request. SBA’s determination concerning the certification regarding the necessity of the loan request will not affect SBA’s loan guarantee. (May 13)

    US Postal Service: The Postal Service wants to gauge how it can assist businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. We provide an overview of the actions USPS is taking in response to the pandemic; educate customers on precautionary measures to keep employees and customers safe; assure customers that they can expect continued quality service; link to resources for customers to stay updated on potential service disruptions and operational changes; and link to a brief, voluntary survey to help USPS identify how it can support businesses and their customers. This effort is part of the Postal Service’s ongoing effort to support businesses and consumers as it continues normal operations during the coronavirus pandemic. (Apr 9)

    Minuteman Press Westminster: At Minuteman Press, we are doing our part to author America’s recovery story by running the Bounce Back USA initiative. Bounce Back USA was created by Minuteman Press to offer two free services to help support all of our neighboring businesses as we find a way to work together through these trying times. First, we are distributing COVID-19 awareness and prevention posters at no charge to any business in our service area. Second, we are providing free local advertising on our site (here) to stimulate business and help all of our neighbors overcome the tremendous economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We truly believe that a rising tide will lift all ships, and we want to make sure our communities stay afloat. Please use the form on our webpage to submit your company’s special offer or supportive message for publishing on our site at no charge. Just upload your logo and the message or offer, and we’ll publish your message in the appropriate category. Join the coalition now to show your support and solidarity with the business community in our neighborhood!  (Apr 6)  

    RTD: In an effort to keep our constituents informed of the latest developments concerning RTD during these everchanging times, we will continue to send periodic updates. For the safety of our employees and riders, and in response to the rapidly changing spread of COVID-19, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) is making some notable operational changes starting Sunday, April 5.  View the updated related to COVID-19. (Apr 3)

    Denver Public Health: Currently, Denver Public Health and Denver Health are working with local and state partners to ensure accurate information is provided to the public, healthcare and other service providers. We have extensive protocols for identifying, responding to, and isolating confirmed and possible COVID-19 cases within Denver to reduce our risk of a local outbreak. Denver Public Health is also working with community partners to ensure that social distancing measures implemented at the state and local level are being followed appropriately. (Apr 3)

    U.S. Bank: A strong community makes anything possible. We are living through unprecedented and challenging times. While COVID-19 has caused us to maintain our social distance, it is critical for us to stay emotionally connected and focus on what matters most – people. As part of our response, we are committed to providing our community partners COVID-19 relief through operational grants via the U.S. Bank Community Possible® grant program. (Apr 3)

    FirstBank: Maintaining the well-being of our customers, employees and communities remains our No. 1 priority. This is one of many reasons why FirstBank is closely monitoring the evolving situation with coronavirus (COVID-19), adhering to guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other health organizations, and implementing several sweeping changes to mitigate the spread and help those affected by COVID-19. Visit our Coronavirus website for important information and resources. (Apr 3)

    The Alzheimer's Association: COVID-19 Tips for Caregivers and  has a variety of virtual options for education. counseling and support.  Please share far and wide with your family, friends, professionals, church members and community at large. All of our programs and services are free. Let us know if we can be of further assistance. Please do not hesitate to call if you have any questions. Call 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900. (Apr 3)

    The Denver Nuggets are asking fans to come support the local community through volunteer and donation opportunities. There are many ways that fans can get involved from contributing food and supplies to monetary donations. Please click this link for more information on how you can support your local neighborhood!  (Apr 2)

    At MB Law we are monitoring the latest news and events affecting Colorado Businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.  In addition to sending email updates to our clients and partnering with Colorado Biz Magazine, we are updating our website to bring you the latest information available.  From requirements under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to helpful hints that you can use during these trying times, please bookmark this page for updates as events on the ground continue to evolve rapidly. (Mar 27)

    The City of Aurora launched its COVID-19 Resources webpage last week and we will continue to update it as the days progress. There is a series of three fact sheets available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean,  Nepali, Vietnamese. Burmese, Karen, Amharic, and Tigrinya sheets are still being translated and will be added soon. (Mar 19)

    The SBA is making available targeted, low-interest disaster recovery loans to small businesses that have been severely impacted by the situation. The State of Colorado is currently working with the SBA to secure access for Colorado businesses and we will share details as soon as they are made available. You can learn more about the SBA’s Coronavirus Disaster Relief Lending here. Additionally, the City and County of Denver is working on a small business support plan. They are looking at the expansion of their current tools as well as leveraging federal assistance as it becomes available. (Mar 13)