With the CARES Act being signed into law on Friday, federal agencies are focused on providing the approximately $2 trillion in aid to Americans and businesses throughout the country.

For the nearly $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program, the SBA must issue regulations within 15 days of enactment of the CARES Act without regard to notice and comment requirements. Hence, it is possible that lenders could begin taking loan applications as soon as mid-April.

The PPP would provide 8 weeks of cash-flow assistance through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to small employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If the employer maintains payroll, the portion of the loans used for covered payroll costs, interest on mortgage obligations, rent, and utilities would be forgiven, which would help workers to remain employed and affected small businesses and our economy to recover quickly from this crisis. This proposal would be retroactive to February 15, 2020, to help bring workers who may have already been laid off back onto payrolls.

Attached is a recently released FAQ for the small businesses provisions included in the bill from the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Also, of note, to prevent double dipping into these relief efforts, businesses that receive an SBA loan through the Paycheck Protection Program cannot also benefit from the bill’s tax provisions including the retention tax credit and deferment of payroll taxes. Individual businesses should consult with their tax accountants and weigh the benefits of these individual tax and small business provisions included in the legislation to discover what works best for them and addresses their needs at this time.