Shaheen, Collins Urge Greater Access to PPP Loans for Seasonal Small Businesses

February 11, 2021

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME), two of the co-authors of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), sent a letter to the Department of the Treasury and the Small Business Administration (SBA), urging them to provide additional flexibility for seasonal small businesses applying for forgivable PPP loans.  Specifically, the Senators requested that Treasury and SBA allow seasonal employers to delay the start date of their loan forgiveness covered period by at least 30 days.

“Given the January start for re-opening the PPP, we are concerned that seasonal employers whose peak seasons do not commence until the summer months may not be able to receive the full benefit of this payroll support,” wrote Senators Shaheen and Collins.  “For example, a Maine or New Hampshire small employer who applies for a PPP loan now may not fully reopen for business until the last few weeks of their loan forgiveness covered period, even if they elect a 24-week covered period.”

“As you continue to implement this next round of the PPP, we ask that you use your existing authority under the CARES Act and subsequent legislation to allow seasonal employers to delay the start date of their covered period by at least 30 days, including by exploring options, with regard to seasonal employers, for relaxing the ten-day loan disbursal requirement,” the Senators continued.  “This additional flexibility for seasonal employers would help ensure they are able to benefit from this relief during the period it is most needed.”

Senator Shaheen led bipartisan negotiations on the small business provisions in the COVID-19 relief signed into law in December. The legislation, which includes provisions from Shaheen’s HEROES Small Business Lifeline Act, provides $284 billion to extend the Paycheck Protection Program and allow many small businesses and nonprofits access to the second round of PPP loans. The legislation also expands PPP eligibility for 501(c)(6) nonprofits, including tourism organizations and local chambers of commerce, and makes critical policy changes to the program to better serve the restaurant and hospitality industries, which have been among those hardest-hit by the pandemic. To date, nearly 25,000 New Hampshire small businesses and non-profits have received over $2.5 billion in PPP assistance. 

Senators Shaheen and Collins have strongly supported increasing flexibility of the PPP for seasonal employers. In April 2020, the Treasury Department released a rule giving seasonal employers the option to use any consecutive 12-week period between May 1, 2019, and September 15, 2019, to determine their maximum loan amount. The December 2020 coronavirus relief package went further by allowing seasonal employers to calculate their maximum loan amount based on any 12-week period from February 15, 2019, to February 15, 2020. 

Click HERE to read the full letter.