The first question one has to check into for the second round of PPP is, do you qualify for the program? The first test is black and white, and you have to meet one of two criteria.
- Your gross receipts in 2020 are down at least 25% compared to 2019
- Your gross receipts in one quarter of 2020 are down at least 25% compared to the same quarter in 2019
If you have made this cut: many business owners then face a more challenging and greyer decision. You have to sign that you need the money to support the ongoing operations of your business.
This attestation was pretty vague for the first round: one could argue that we thought the world was about to end, and it was critical to stuff as much money as we could under our mattresses. Survival instincts were appropriately alive and well.
Some businesses are sadly and unfortunately in that same survival boat. They are hanging on by a thread and genuinely need this money to survive.
On the other hand, I believe millions of businesses will meet one of the two 25% criteria – but if you look at their bottom line or profitability, they are doing just fine or better than before. They've used their first round of PPP money, cut some expenses, pivoted, and are on their way.
Business owners and entrepreneurs in this boat will have to decide whether or not to take the second round of PPP money. They will be able to get it – it’s not up to banks or lenders to verify the attestation. But then they will have to live with the fear of an auditor knocking on their door one day.