Latest News on PPP Loans

SBA Taking PPP Loan Apps Only from Small Lenders This Evening 
To ensure access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for the smallest lenders and their small business customers, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced it will accept loans only from lending institutions with asset sizes less than $1 billion from 2 p.m. through 10 p.m. Those lenders will also be able to submit outside that timeframe. This applies only to today’s application submissions. Businesses should continue to contact their lenders to apply. To find a lender, visit the SBA’s website.

Second Round of PPP Funding Includes Support for Seasonal Workers 
Earlier this week, the U.S. Small Business Administration released a new interim rule for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that enables organizations to include seasonal workers’ salaries in their loan amount calculations. The rule says:

“A seasonal employer may determine its maximum loan amount for purposes of the PPP by reference to the employer’s average total monthly payments for payroll ‘the 12-week period beginning Feb. 15, 2019, or at the election of the eligible [borrower], March 1, 2019, and ending June 30, 2019.’ … A seasonal employer may alternatively elect to determine its maximum loan amount as the average total monthly payments for payroll during any consecutive 12-week period between May 1, 2019 and Sept. 15, 2019.”

Seasonal employers that typically hire more staff during the summer can account for that in their loan amount calculation. This will help businesses that may not return to full capacity this summer pay employees who the employer would otherwise need to lay off or reduce hours.

Read the full interim rule. The Treasury Department also released an updated PPP FAQ to address the latest information related to the new round of PPP funding.

DRCOG Releases Data on COVID-19’s Impact on Workers 
The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) has released a data brief showing that the workers most vulnerable to the economic impacts of COVID-19 already have more modest incomes, with median wages estimated at half of the median for workers who are not in immediate-risk industries. Twenty-three percent of the region’s workers are vulnerable to the immediate effects of the pandemic response. The data was compiled in partnership with The Brookings Institution. View the data brief.

Governor Establishes Health Equity Response Team 
Gov. Jared Polis established a Health Equity Response Team to tackle the inequities many Coloradans are experiencing because of this pandemic. In his announcement, Polis shared that people of color are disproportionately likely to be exposed to COVID-19 while working in low-paying essential jobs, and are more likely to have limited access to affordable health care, child care and transportation. The Office of Health Equity will lead the team. Learn more about the team’s responsibilities and see a list of its members.

Governor Polis Issues Safer-at-Home Executive Orders 
Gov. Jared Polis issued executive orders earlier this week to address regulations and requirements as the state enters the “Safer-at-Home” phase of the pandemic, which officially began Monday. The orders include:

  • Requiring Coloradans to stay home as much as possible.
  • Allowing retail businesses to open for curbside delivery, and real estate home showings, and voluntary or elective medical, dental and veterinary surgeries and procedures to resume.
  • Allowing retail businesses to begin phased-in public openings and personal services to open beginning Friday.
  • Allowing offices to open at 50% and child care to expand or reopen beginning Monday.

Denver and most other metro area counties extended their stay-at-home orders through May 8. Read the state’s Safer-at-Home announcement and executive orders.

Denver City Council Defers Tenants’ Rent Payments 
The Denver City Council unanimously voted this week to allow tenants of city-owned properties to defer their rent payments for three months. The buildings include the National Western Center, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and the Wellington Webb Municipal Building.  Read the legislation.

Kelly Brough is the president and CEO of the Chamber.