Simplified PPP loan application applies to most owner-operators

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Most owner-operators and small fleets will be eligible for a new, simpler loan cancellation application for Paycheck Protection Program participants, which means a virtual guarantee to turn their loan into a grant.

The simplified form, announced Oct. 8, applies to those with loans of $ 50,000 or less, said the US Small Business Administration, which administered the program through the banks that made the loans. SBA has published instructions for the one page form.

Kevin Kocmich, with assistance from ATBS, has borrowed nearly $ 13,000 through P3 to maintain his oversized freight operation. He made regular transfers from a business account to a personal account as payroll, as advised by ATBS, to ensure that it would meet PPP requirements. Kocmich, leased to Diamond Transportation System, was named 2019 Owner-Operator of the Year.

The program has been set up so that beneficiaries who meet certain criteria are eligible for loan cancellation. Others would have to repay the loan at a very low interest rate. The new form asks borrowers to confirm a list of criteria regarding the use of funds.

The initial PPP request was heavy enough, and the initial pardon request “is longer and more complicated than the initial request,” said Todd Amen, president of ATBS, the country’s largest owner-operator financial services provider.

Amen said most of the loans ATBS has helped range between $ 8,000 and $ 12,000, covering leased operators and those with an operating license. The full range would be between $ 2,000 and $ 20,000.

ATBS has helped around 10% of its 20,000 clients to apply for PPP loans. Because they met the eligibility requirements, it is assumed that they all received loans, Amen said. They usually received the funds within a day or two.

Amen said last week, ahead of the SBA’s announcement, that it had only helped 45 clients with rebate requests, largely because of the complexity of the form as well as discussions about Congress fixing a threshold below which all PPP loans would be automatically remitted. This factor was supposed to be part of the upcoming coronavirus relief bill, which continues to be stuck amid partisan disagreements.

Many banks have temporarily refused to accept the original pardon request due to lingering questions about it, as well as the tedious requests required to process the original pardon form, Amen said. The SBA said it and the US Treasury Department have also eased the burden on PPP lenders, allowing them to process forgiveness requests more quickly.


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