1. Administration Calls for Additional Funding for PPP
One of the most popular programs created in the CARES Act, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), has released over $70 billion to small businesses to help them remain viable during this pandemic. Due to the large demand, the Administration has requested additional funding for that program in a letter to Congressional leaders.
NECA’s look Ahead: Senate Democrats requested an additional $250 billion for hospitals and local governments in addition to funding for the PPP while Republican leaders argued that funding for the PPP is the only account that requires additional immediate funding at this time. The Senate adjourned on April 9, 2020 unable to pass additional funding for the PPP under unanimous consent.
2. Treasury Guidance Clarifies Qualifications for PPP Borrowers
With the passage of the CARES Act, many agencies have been scrambling to enact the reforms and programs developed in rapid time. One such program, the Paycheck Protection Program, which allows substantial loans to be granted under favorable terms by the Small Business Administration, came under scrutiny for potentially requiring businesses to meet both size and revenue requirements instead of just the size requirements (under 500 employees) originally required. While this scrutiny came from an over-cautious interpretation of an earlier guidance, the Treasury Department offered additional guidance to make it clear to borrowers that they may meet either the revenue standards listed under a given NAICS code or qualify by having less than 500 employees.
NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA worked with key leaders once the CARES Act was signed into law to attain greater clarity on this issue for our contractors. This new change will give NECA contractors the predictability they need to move forward with the new SBA loan program. We will continue to monitor the implementation of the CARES Act and continue to maintain in constant conversation with Congressional staff and agency officials to communicate the needs of our members.
3. DOD Releases Rule on Payment to Small Business Contractors
Earlier this week the Department of Defense (DOD) released a final rule on the defining and implementation of accelerated payments to classified small businesses under DOD contracts. The rule (DFARS Case 2018–D068) which finalizes the implementation of a section from 2019’s National Defense Authorization Act urges the federal government to pay small business contractors within 15 days of the receipt of a proper invoice. While this is only a goal for the federal government and not a direct mandate, which NECA advocated for in the past, we view this final rule and its upcoming full implementation as a positive step forward.
NECA’s Look Ahead: We encourage NECA contractors to read the final rule and monitor its implementation on DOD contracts. With your feedback and on-the-ground experiences, we will be better able to make lawmakers and agency officials aware of its progress.