Businesses were down to the wire deciding whether or not they should return loans from the embattled Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, as recent guidelines about having to prove their need for loans prompted many to proactively return them. But in the eleventh hour on Wednesday, new guidance from the SBA should calm some businesses’ fears over future liability or legal consequences even if they didn’t need the loans.
According to newly-released guidance from the SBA and Treasury on Wednesday, firms that accepted PPP loans they didn’t need (based on the certification requirement) will be able to repay the money without facing further action, and loans under $2 million likely won’t be targeted for review. Previously, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated that firms would be held “criminally liable” if they failed to meet the PPP’s terms.
Many businesses (large and small) have been wrestling with returning or keeping their loans for weeks. As late as Tuesday night, Pamela Zell, who runs a financial planning firm in Missouri, was still debating whether to keep or return her $68,000 PPP loan.