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ACEC News / Advocacy

December 3, 2020

ACEC Calls for Withdrawal of PPP Loan Necessity Questionnaire

ACEC is urging the Trump Administration to withdraw SB 3509, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Necessity Questionnaire, asserting that it changes the original criteria for loan forgiveness.

When applying for PPP loans, engineering firms and other businesses were asked to certify that “uncertainty of current economic conditions makes necessary the loan request to support the ongoing operations of the eligible recipient.”

The questionnaire, which must be submitted by borrowers with PPP loans of more than $2 million, appears to evaluate economic uncertainty by looking at the loan recipient’s performance during the months after receipt of the loan.

“The CARES Act does not state that loan forgiveness will be based on the economic performance of the borrower following application for a PPP loan,” ACEC President and CEO Linda Bauer Darr wrote in a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza.   

Additionally, the questionnaire requests the amount of cash and cash equivalents in the quarter prior to the loan application, as well as information about executive compensation, dividends, and capital projects. This information was not required when firms submitted PPP loan applications.

“In designing the PPP, Congress clearly intended that employers that retained their employees would be eligible for loan forgiveness,” Darr wrote. “ACEC members that took out PPP loans in good faith have done their part. The questionnaire upends this premise by adding loan forgiveness criteria after the loan documents were signed.”

Click here to read the letter.


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