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ACEC News / Coronavirus

May 21, 2020

ACEC President/CEO Darr’s Weekly Member Letter Provides Paycheck Protection Program Update

To the ACEC Community,

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been huge for the engineering industry.

In our most recent member survey on May 8, 88 percent of respondents reported applying for the program, and 94 percent of those had been approved (and another 4 percent were awaiting approval). Just under two-thirds (64) of these firms planned to use all of their loan funding, while 22 percent intended to use some of it and return the rest. Only 2 percent planned to return all of their loan.

To the federal government’s credit, the PPP funds were disbursed rapidly by an agency that wasn’t equipped to deal with the enormous volume of applications, but at the same time, guidance and information on the rules and regulations of the program have been much slower. ACEC’s advocacy team has been urging the Department of Treasury and the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide more clarity to key issues that will define the program’s long-term success.

Here’s the latest.

To the question of whether PPP borrowers can make a good faith certification on economic need in qualifying for a loan, guidance released last week indicates that borrowers with loan amounts of less than $2 million will be deemed to have made this certification. The guidance also notes that borrowers with loan amounts greater than $2 million still have a basis for making the certification – click here for the latest FAQ document.

Treasury and SBA also released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and detailed instructions for the application. Click here to view the application and instructions.

As soon as we learn more information on loan forgiveness, we will circulate it to our members in our e-mail communications, through our podcasts and our ongoing series of Rescue Recover Rebuild webinars and online events. Follow the course schedule in the Webinar section of the ACEC Coronavirus Resource Center.

Another critical issue for our industry is securing financial assistance for state and local governments, which Congressional leadership has suggested will come in June. State DOTs, transit agencies, and other client sectors have been hit hard by decreased tax collections and other revenues. AASHTO has requested nearly $50 billion, the American Public Transportation Association has asked for an additional $24 billion, and organizations representing water clients, airports, and other client agencies are submitting requests. We are working closely with these organizations to secure financial relief—the sooner the better.

One housekeeping note: These CEO letters are an integral part of ACEC member communications during this crisis, but we’re also providing critical updates on key issues for your firm and our industry through twice-weekly email digests of our Last Word newsletter. If you’re not receiving Last Word or know of colleagues who are not receiving these letters or Last Word, please check to make sure that you or they haven’t inadvertently unsubscribed and that your firm’s email system has whitelisted ACEC.

Stay Safe,

Linda Bauer Darr




All comments to blog posts will be moderated by ACEC staff.


May 21, 2020



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