Rounds leads group of senators in requesting shorter PPP loan forgiveness application

U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) led a bipartisan contingent of more than 40 lawmakers in seeking a streamlined Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application for small businesses.

“As small businesses begin to reopen their doors, the last thing they should be worried about is burdensome, unnecessary paperwork,” Sen. Rounds said on Friday. “These businesses have enough on their plate as they seek to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. They shouldn’t be saddled with excessive red tape – they should be focused on helping re-start the economy.”

In a June 12 letter sent to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carranza, Sen. Rounds and his colleagues specifically requested that the current 11-page PPP loan forgiveness application for loans under $250,000 be restricted to no longer than one page in length.

“We have received feedback from a number of businesses and lenders that the forgiveness application is difficult to understand and to complete,” wrote Sen. Rounds and his colleagues. “We believe it is beyond the program’s intent to require the information solicited in the 11-page forgiveness application that the SBA recently released.”

While the senators said they appreciated appropriate auditing of government money, the loan forgiveness application is three times longer than the original application for the PPP, according to their letter.

“The administration’s intentions to scrutinize PPP loans above $2 million is an appropriate oversight of taxpayer resources,” Sen. Rounds and the lawmakers wrote. “Failing to streamline the loan forgiveness application for loans that are worth a mere fraction of that will not only leave millions of small business owners without the relief that they were promised by Congress, but it will also introduce a needless complication to our nation’s economic recovery.”