Is My Bar or Restaurant Eligible for a Round 2 PPP Loan?

To those who have been following our blogs, we’ve spent a significant amount of time addressing two ongoing COVID-19 issues. The first is how struggling bar and restaurant owners can stay ahead of, and work through, the continuing shutdown imposed by Pennsylvania, and the second is breaking down the continuing, and often confusing, regulations and guidance regarding PPP Loans for both our bank clients and our clients who are applying for a PPP loan to keep their head above water. So what about the latest Round 2 PPP loan? Many bar and restaurant owners may be wondering if they are eligible.

Round 2 PPP Loan highlights

On December 27, the SBA issued new interim final guidance, implementing key provisions of the Department of Treasury’s Economic Aid Act. The good news is that there is additional PPP funding available and that this Round 2 funding is more narrowly tailored to small businesses. The bad news is that the program has smaller funding, and does have a few more restrictions as to who is eligible (especially for those who have already obtained a PPP Loan). Here are the relevant highlights for you.

Updated Terms:

  1. The Application window for first-time PPP borrowers has been extended through March 31, 2021;
  2. Only businesses operating as of February 15, 2020, are eligible;
  3. Many publicly traded companies are not eligible for a PPP Loan under this current iteration; and
  4. Seasonal businesses that were in operation for any 12-week period between February 15, 2019, and February 15, 2020, are eligible.

Additionally, certain expenses have been added to the list of excludable/forgivable expenses for deduction under the PPP loan program, which may be useful to our readers:

  1. Operating or capital expenditures made between March 1, 2020, and the expiration of the COVID-19 national emergency which were related to modifications made to businesses to comply with local and federal regulations to combat COVID-19;
  2. Some costs and expenditures for the purchase of goods which are now considered essential to the operation of the business, and for non-perishable goods that were made under contract or purchase order prior to the covered period. If the expense relates to perishable goods, then it will be an eligible expense if the contract or purchase order was in effect before or at any time during the covered period; and
  3. Costs related to the purchase of software and computer services used for the express purpose of the operation of the business.

Why bars and restaurants are likely eligible for a Round 2 PPP Loan

The two most useful changes for many of our clients will be the restriction on publicly traded companies and the allowance of seasonal business PPP Loans. For many bar and restaurant owners who weren’t able to obtain PPP Loans during the first round of loans, this will provide a possible second bite at the apple.

Moreover, those of you who did obtain a PPP Loan may be eligible for a second-round loan if your gross receipts for any one quarter in 2020 were less than 25% of the same quarter for 2019.  Businesses who meet this criterion qualify for access to a second draw from PPP at 2.5x average monthly payroll.  The good news for the bar and restaurant sector is that the multiplier is increased to 3.5x average monthly payroll.  For bars and restaurants, the monthly payroll average will take into consideration cash tips (which will be based on employer records for past tips or a reasonable good-faith employer estimate of such tips).

As always, the attorneys of Gross McGinley are here to assist you.

Attorneys Jason A. Ulrich, Thomas E. Reilly, and Loren L. Speziale serve local and national clients across various sectors as part of Gross McGinley’s Business Services Group. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve shared various legal insights regarding the PPP Loan process and advised many bars and restaurants on business matters.