Q&A Regarding PPP and EIDL Funding

Greg SmithGreg Smith of UEC’s Business Resource Center Answers Common Questions on PPP and EIDL Funding

Many business owners have applied for or received funds from the Paycheck Protection (PPP) and/or Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). We have received the following questions and want to share information we hope will be helpful.

Q: I have applied for the EIDL or the PPP and have heard nothing back yet. What do I do?

A: You may call the customer service line but be aware there are long wait times. The number is (800) 659-2955. For questions regarding PPP applications, you may try contacting your lender. Unfortunately, you may just have to wait as there are tens of thousands of applications, limited staff and amounts of money.

Q: I did not apply during the first go-round of applications for the EIDL. Can I apply now?

A: At this time, the EIDL is accepting applications only from agriculture businesses. Keep monitoring the website to see when (and if) they open it up again to other businesses.

Q: I applied during the first round of funding but did not hear anything from SBA. Do I need to reapply?

A: No. Existing applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Q: I have applied for the EIDL and the loan amount I have received requires collateral. I already have assets mortgaged or with a UCC filing. Do I still qualify for the loan?

A: Yes, the SBA will take a subordinate position and if there is no collateral available, borrowers will not be denied the loan.

Q: I heard the maximum EIDL loan has been decreased. Is this true?

A: Yes, the most current information we have is that the maximum loan amount for the EIDL has been reduced to $150,000.

Q: I received no notification from the EIDL regarding the loan advance (grant), but the money just showed up in my account. Is this normal?

A: Yes. They are just depositing the loan advance into your account so monitor it frequently.

Q: I obtained a PPP loan and want to hire back my employees. However, they are collecting more on unemployment and do not want to return. What should I do?

A: Those collecting unemployment who turn down work stand a strong chance of losing their benefits except under certain circumstances. As long as you have documented their refusal to return to work you should not be penalized and can hire new employees to meet the required 75% threshold for loan forgiveness.

Q: I have not received either the PPP or EIDL and am self-employed. Can I apply for unemployment?

A: Yes. Under the new Pandemic Unemployment Insurance Program (PUA), those who are self-employed, are independent contractors, or “gig workers” can apply for unemployment benefits. Visit the State of Oregon Employment Department webpage and click the Cares Act link in the yellow banner at the top of the page to learn about the program and to apply.

Q: What documentation does the PUA require to apply?

A: You are not required to provide documentation at the time of application but will complete and sign a certification stating the information you provided is true and correct. However, in case your application is reviewed, you will need to have proof of your income. This would include your tax return, 1099’s, etc.

Q: As the economy opens, where can I find information on the guidelines required for my business?

A: Visit Oregon.gov website. It will provide you all the latest information specific to your business. We will continue to provide business owners the most up to date information we have and are here to assist you.

Greg Smith is the Executive Advisor of the Umatilla Electric Cooperative Business Resource Center located at 1475 N First Street, Hermiston, OR. If you are seeking free, confidential business advising, please call 541-289-3000 or email.