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What is PPP? Business leaders help organize to flesh out the details


Small Business leaders across the state mobilized on a Zoom video conference on Sunday to discuss in-depth how business owners can get the best resources out of the CARE Act, specifically the PPP act. The conference, sponsored by North Carolina National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Knox Street Studios, garnered roughly 50 attendees wanting to know exactly how they can benefit from the federal act.

“The NAACP is heavily engaged in with dialogue, in fact they’re in Washington D.C. right now talking to a number of congress men and women, about what the issues are on the ground with the people who are being impacted by this epidemic, “ said Gerry McCants on behalf of the NAACP. “We’re here to support and provide as much information and collaboration with organizations and community-based groups that can provide support and resources to many small businesses. Particularly African-American businesses who are either impacted by losing revenue or jobs.”


The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID -19 crisis. All loan terms will be the same for everyone. Loan amounts will be forgiven if loan proceeds are used to cover payroll costs, and most mortgage interest, rent and utility costs over the 8-week period after the loan is made and employee compensation levels are maintained.

“The big thing about this loan is you being able to pay your employees as well as yourself during these times to avoid furloughs and layoffs. It is not designed for anything outside of the parameters that they have described for you,” added Talib Graves-Manns, owner of Knox Street Studios.

Employee and compensation levels must be maintained during this time. Payroll costs are capped at $100,00 on an annualized basis for each employee. It is anticipated that no more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs. If not forgiven, loan payments will be deferred for six months.

“Starting on April 10, independent contractor and self-employed individuals can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA reliefs,” said Graves- Manns.


Payroll costs include salary, wages, commissions or tips (capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee); employee benefits including costs for vacation, parental, family, medical or sick leave; allowance for separation or dismissal; payments required for the provisions of group health care benefits including insurance premiums; and payment of any retirement benefit; state and local taxes assessed on compensation; and for a sole proprietor or independent contractor: wages, commissions, income or net earnings from self-employment, capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee.

“Do not stretch the truth in this process. You want to be as honest as possible to make sure you’re taken care of. If you have 10 employees. This is designed for you to keep those employees and pay them,” said Graves- Manns. “If you claimed all 10 employees, receive funding for them and then fire five of them, furlough them or let them go, your loan will not be forgiven. You are in breach.”


The application window for the loan began on April 3. Small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply and receive loans to cover their payroll and certain other expenses through existing SBA lenders. Financial institutions and banks are now available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. Business owners should check to see if their bank is enrolled and accepting applications.

“Wherever you have your business checking account is where you will be applying for your PPP loan. You can only choose one bank to put your application in at,” Graves-Manns said.

To see if your financial institution qualifies visit for a list of SBA lenders.


All businesses – including nonprofits, veterans’ organizations, tribal business concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals and independent contractors – with 500 or fewer employees can apply. Businesses in certain industries can have more than 500 employees if they meet applicable SBA employee-based size standards for those industries.

For this program the SBA’s affiliation standards are waived for small businesses in the hotel and food services industries; or that are franchises in the SBA’s Franchise Directory; or that receive financial assistance from small business investment companies licensed by the SBA.


Those looking to apply should complete and submit the application with the requested documentation by June 30, 2020. You will need to provide your lender with payroll documentation, documentation that that verifies the number of full-time equivalent employees on payroll, covered mortgage interest/rent payments and covered utilities. While the program is open until June 30, 2020, business owners are encouraged to apply quickly due to a funding cap.

For more information about the PPP application visit, www.