Tuesday, 29 September 2020 15:20

U.S. House Reviews PPP Processes and Loan Forgiveness


The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business Subcommittees held two back-to-back hearings entitled “Paycheck Protection Program: An Examination on Loan Forgiveness, SBA Legacy Systems and Inaccurate Data” and “A Review of PPP Forgiveness."

In mid-August, the Small Business Association (SBA) opened the loan forgiveness portal for lenders and borrowers who participated in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the SBA has processed only 56,000 forgiveness applications---less than 1% of the 5.2 million loans distributed through the PPP.


The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business held two hearings the last week of September to discuss the current status and future recommendations for the PPP.


Subcommittee Member Jason Crow (D-CO) opened the Sept. 24 hearing with this statement:


“Small business owners are resilient, and they are used to overcoming challenges, but the coronavirus has been a crushing blow. While the PPP has helped them retain key employees and make rent and other payments, many are anxious that their loans won’t be fully forgiven and they will be saddled with more debt. The forgiveness forms do nothing to alleviate those concerns. They are complex, confusing and time consuming.”


In the Sept. 24 hearing, SBA Chief of Staff William Manger refuted accusations the SBA e-Tran system was unable to handle the influx of PPP loan applications, indicated the SBA is prepared and willing to work with Congress should PPP be extended, and stated his confidence in the SBA loan forgiveness application process.


However, although Manger indicated that the SBA believes the loan application process is accessible for applicants seeking forgiveness, small-business owners in the Sept. 25 hearing gave evidence that it is not.

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