Fix the Paycheck Protection Program

May 14, 2020
Written by Rose Gundersen, VP of Operations & Retail Services

Washington Retail applauds Congress’ intent to protect small business workers’ paychecks through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)’s loan forgiveness feature.

Since the passage of the CARES Act on March 27, most states have extended their original stay-at-home orders. Therefore, the initial assumption of re-opening and re-hiring all workers within eight weeks of receiving the loan deserves review and adjustment.

In a letter this week to Congress, Washington Retail requested extending the eight-week payroll spending mandate to 16-20 weeks which upon receiving the PPP loan will alleviate most of the concerns listed. In fact, a May 3 Wall Street Journal article mentioned that Senators Ron Wyden and Ben Cardin are interested in extending the eight-week restriction.

Congress needs to allow businesses the flexibility to staff properly based on in-coming business volume during the gradual re-opening of retailers. Otherwise, workers may have to return to the unemployment roll at the end of the eight weeks.

Small retailers and their workers have made incredible economic sacrifices to mitigate the spread of the COVID pandemic. Business viability and long-term job security for their workers should be the goals of the Paycheck Protection Program. WR has also launched a campaign to members of Congress to ask for an extension in the loan forgiveness feature of the program.