The American Institute of CPAs is adding its voice to others calling for an expansion of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and seeks to extend the program’s lifespan.
The PPP provides critical relief for small business hard-it by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“From the beginning, we have advocated for the support of small businesses, their survival and their ability to employ people,” said AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA. “It’s apparent that to increase the odds of many small businesses getting through this crisis, more governmental support is essential.”
The program has proved to be an effective bridge for many companies affected by workplace restrictions forced by the pandemic, but more resources are urgently needed to help Main Street businesses that are continuing to struggle.
Melacon and the AICPA say there’s plenty of reason—as shown by recent reports—to expand and extend the PPP.
- Data from Yelp, the restaurant and services review site, shows a 34 percent increase in business closures since mid-July, according to CNBC.
- Politico, citing Drexel University statistics, reported that small businesses with 50 employees or less lost nearly 18 million jobs in the pandemic, with close to half of those jobs returning as states reopened – yet the recovery unmistakably tailed off in mid-June.
- Colder temperatures are expected to exacerbate challenges for restaurants, bars and hospitality businesses, many of which will continue to face restrictions on indoor seating
Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com, the AICPA’s business and technology arm, adds his voice to those pushing for expansion of the PPP.
“Money still remains unspent from the last PPP authorization, but businesses can’t currently tap those funds,” said Asgeirsson. “We need to allow new loan applications and add additional resources to help small businesses during this critical time. We support efforts to enact PPP 2.”
Asgeirsson made his remarks at a AICPA Town Hall, a weekly virtual update that focuses on the PPP and related topics and draws an audience of as many as 5,000 CPAs. The AICPA issued six recommendations for pandemic relief-related legislation in July, several of which touch on the Paycheck Protection Program.
AICPA says CPAs have played a key role in assisting small businesses with PPP applications and the program’s loan forgiveness process. The AICPA supports streamlining and simplifying the PPP process through recommendations from a small business funding coalition it leads.
AICPA, CPA.com, and Biz2Credit have also created a free tool for borrowers and CPAs that helps automate the loan forgiveness process: pppforgivenesstool.com.