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SBA Paycheck Protection Program will be available Friday

Published April 2, 2020
PeopleForBikes updated the industry on available resources for employers in a webinar Thursday.

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — PeopleForBikes updated the bike industry Thursday with some sobering numbers, as well as some more resources for employers.

Last week, a record 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment. In the past two weeks, it's nearly 10 million.

"This is certainly part of the bike industry," Noa Banayan, PeopleForBikes' federal affairs manager, said during a PeopleForBikes webinar held Thursday. "We want to help you as employers and employees to do what you can to protect your resources and the future of your employment and company. These are tough times for everyone and for those of us in the business and industry."

The second PFB COVID-19 webinar drew about 360 watchers wanting information on what resources, grants, loans, and other federal relief options exist to help navigate the pandemic. It featured Charles Cooper, managing director of the Signal Group in Washington, D.C. The Signal Group advises clients on how to influence politics and policy, and Cooper's big reveal was a new program that was part of the third stimulus bill.

The Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program will be available Friday to eligible candidates. The program authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses with fewer than 500 employees during the pandemic. Loan terms will be universal.

Loan amounts will be forgiven if:

  • The loan proceeds are used to cover payroll costs and most mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs over the eight-week period after the loan is made.
  • Employee and compensation levels are maintained. Payroll is capped at $100,000 on an annual basis for each employee. Due to likely high subscription, it's anticipated that not more than 25% of the forgiven amount will be for non-payroll costs.
  • Loan payments will be deferred for six months.

"Of all the things congress has passed, this is the one where loan forgiveness is available," Cooper said. "A lot of small businesses will take advantage of this."

Cooper made note of other small business and employee relief resources, which can be accessed through the PeopleForBikes' Resources for Retailers and Industry page.

He applauded PeopleForBikes' efforts to join with industry organizations and call for a reversal of 301 tariffs to boost economic growth. "There's been a robust movement within the business community to address these issues," Cooper said. "A number of senators are echoing a call for tariff relief. At this point, the administration has not provided a lot of flexibility in that regard but that debate continues."

PFP also has joined the National Recreation and Parks Association and other organizations in lobbying for safe access to the outdoors for transportation and recreation. PFP signed a letter along with other outdoor trade groups asking that public lands remain accessible where appropriate.

Congress will be out of session until at least April 20 and possibly longer because of the social distancing guidelines. Banayan said there is talk of a fourth stimulus package.

Topics associated with this article: Coronavirus

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