Find the latest episode of "This Is Uncomfortable" here. Listen
COVID-19

PPP loan deadline extension would help banks process more applications

Justin Ho Mar 29, 2021
Heard on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY
Larger companies initially took advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program, which was intended to offer forgivable loans to smaller businesses. Kameleon007 via Getty Images
COVID-19

PPP loan deadline extension would help banks process more applications

Justin Ho Mar 29, 2021
Heard on:
Larger companies initially took advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program, which was intended to offer forgivable loans to smaller businesses. Kameleon007 via Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Late last week, the Senate passed a bill that will extend the current deadline for Paycheck Protection Program loans from March 31 to May 31. That bill is now headed to President Joe Biden’s desk. The extended deadline for the government’s forgivable business loans will come as a relief to many small business owners who have been scrambling to get their applications in this month.

The latest round of PPP loans came with additional requirements, including more compliance checks meant to prevent fraud. As a result, “the processing process has been far, far slower and more complicated than the first time around,” said Matt Hetrick of the accounting firm Harmony Group.

Earlier this month, Optus Bank in South Carolina stopped accepting applications so it could work through its backlog. CEO Dominik Mjartan said it’s started to accept them again, and by the May deadline, “we expect we’ll have over a thousand applications that we’ll have processed or touched.”

But, Mjartan said, many of those are from first-time borrowers whose applications tend to be more complex.

“And that’s why we’re worried about the pipeline of applications that are coming in,” he said. “We may get really bogged down.”

If that happens, Mjartan said the bank might have to stop accepting applications again to get through the backlog by May 31.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?

As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy begins reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.

Give me a snapshot of the labor market in the U.S.

U.S. job openings in February increased more than expected, according to the Labor Department. Also, the economy added over 900,000 jobs in March. For all of the good jobs news recently, there are still nearly 10 million people who are out of work, and more than 4 million of them have been unemployed for six months or longer. “So we still have a very long way to go until we get a full recovery,” said Elise Gould with the Economic Policy Institute. She said the industries that have the furthest to go are the ones you’d expect: “leisure and hospitality, accommodations, food services, restaurants” and the public sector, especially in education.

What do I need to know about tax season this year?

Glad you asked! We have a whole separate FAQ section on that. Some quick hits: The deadline has been extended from April 15 to May 17 for individuals. Also, millions of people received unemployment benefits in 2020 — up to $10,200 of which will now be tax-free for those with an adjusted gross income of less than $150,000. And, for those who filed before the American Rescue Plan passed, simply put, you do not need to file an amended return at the moment. Find answers to the rest of your questions here.

Read More

Collapse

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.