On Monday, President Biden announced that the smallest businesses – those with fewer than 20 employees – will have exclusive access to applying for forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for a two-week period. Larger businesses will be blocked from applying during that window.
The initial round of PPP funds wound up being heavily targeted to larger businesses, including national corporations with subsidiaries. As a result, many smaller businesses, including those without an established relationship with a lender, missed out.
Since the vast majority of dental practices fall within this 20-employee limit, dentist-owners who have not received a PPP loan should consider moving immediately to complete the application process. There has been some loosening of the qualifications to receive funds, and it appears that more money per business is available than was the case earlier.
According to a CNN report, "About half of the funds allocated in December remain and will be available through March 31." Provided that the requirements are met – and be sure to read those carefully – this is essentially free money.
But Wait! There's More… Maybe
The $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill making its way through the House of Representatives would also provide $15 billion to the Emergency Injury Disaster Loan program. That program provides low-interest, long-term loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA). If your business employs fewer than 10 individuals and was severely impacted by COVID, you should be given priority one of those loans.
Of course, the provisions in the final bill may differ, so don’t hang your hat on being able to obtain an SBA loan. Still, this is something to keep on your radar if your finances took a heavy hit. If you can refill your financial "bucket" with little exposure, why not?
With dentistry as a whole getting more and more back to "usual," this is a good time to build your financial reserves and strengthen your practice against future pressures.
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