The Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration have issued guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans as guaranteed in the CARES Act. The CARES Act guaranteed $349 billion in small business loans for employers to retain employees and cover costs such as mortgage payments and utility bills. (For a full summary of the CARES Act please go here: CARES Act: Covid-19 Stimulus Summary).
There has been some confusion regarding the eligibility of wineries and vineyards for the loans guaranteed by the CARES Act. All small businesses are eligible for the PPP loans as long as they meet the criteria of a small business (500 employees or less) and use the loans for payroll and the other specified items outlined in the bill. Unfortunately, at this time it appears that wineries with vineyard operations do not qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) that the SBA is offering, as agriculture-based operations are not eligible. We are currently working to amend that. Wineries and vineyards ARE eligible for the PPP loans as outlined in the CARES Act.
The PPP loan applications will open on April 3 through existing Small Business Administration lenders. Applicants can also apply though any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. There will be more lenders approved in the coming weeks. The loans are retroactive to February 15, 2020 and will be available until June 30, 2020. The loans will be forgiven if they are used to cover payroll costs, and most mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs over the 8-week period after the loan is made; and employee and compensation levels are maintained.
For more information please visit the Treasury Department guidance page here: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/top-priorities/cares-act/assistance-for-small-businesses
The Small Business Administration guidance page can be found here: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/paycheck-protection-program-ppp#section-header-4