By Tim Carpenter – Kansas News Service
TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly urged pandemic-battered Kansas small businesses Thursday to apply for the second round of forgivable loans through the federal Paycheck Protection Program ahead of the May 31 deadline.
The 2021 phase of the COVID-19 relief program was designed to be more attractive to small businesses. During the first round of PPP in 2020, companies in Kansas secure more than 54,000 loans valued at more than $5 billion.
“Additional PPP funding will help fuel our continued economic recovery,” Kelly said. “I will continue to push for additional stimulus funding to support our small businesses as we get our state back to normal.”
The U.S. Small Business Administration began accepting applications for PPP loans to cover payroll expenses and other operational costs through community financial institutions Jan. 11 and through all other financial institutions Jan. 19.
Andrew Gough, owner of Reverie Coffee Roasters in Wichita, said in a statement released by the governor’s office that PPP loans kept his business afloat during the pandemic.
“PPP has impacted our business in the most positive way possible,” Gough said. “Balancing the safety needs of our staff and community with bottom line business survival required support from another source. We now have real hope of surviving this terrible pandemic, both as individuals and as a business.”
The 2021 version of PPP has been altered to simplify forgiveness provisions for borrowers of $150,000 or less. Companies taking loans under that benchmark have been allowed to self-certify the money was spent appropriately. Restaurants, hotels and other hospitality businesses have been made eligible for an increased loan total of 3.5 times monthly payroll. Eligible expenses paid for a forgiven PPP loan may now be deducted on taxes for 2020 and 2021.