N.J. small businesses again can seek forgivable loans

A new round of forgivable loans for small businesses will be available beginning Monday, according to the Small Business Administration.

The $900 billion stimulus package approved by Congress last month renewed the paycheck protection program, which provided low-interest loans for small businesses that didn’t have to pay them back if they spent most of the money keeping their employees on their payrolls.

The stimulus measure allocated $284 billion, with some businesses able to seek a second loan.

The program was designed to help businesses continue to pay their employees after being forced to close their doors to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“The historically successful paycheck protection program served as an economic lifeline to millions of small businesses and their employees when they needed it most,” SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza said in a statement on Friday.

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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the program, which expired in August, provided 5.2 million loans worth $525 billion, including more than $17 billion to New Jersey businesses, and supported more than 51 million jobs. The new program will run through March 31.

Those receiving earlier loans included some of New Jersey’s lobbying firms.

Besides payroll, part of a loan can be used for other expenses, including purchasing shields and other equipment designed to protect workers. Business organizations such as chambers of commerce also are eligible for the loans.

In addition, businesses with no more than 300 employees can seek a second loan if their receipts dropped by at least 25% in one three-month period in 2020 compared to the same quarter in 2019.

Original Article