The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is an endeavor by the Small Business Association (SBA) to assist small businesses with funding. Here are five tips for applying for PPP loans.
1. Include All Necessary Documentation
Like any application, a PPP loan application requires quite a lot of documentation and information before it can be processed and approved. The list of required documents and records may differ depending on what type of business you're seeking a loan for, so make sure you check the requirements before you begin your application and gather the necessary records. At a minimum, every application must include the completed and signed application, your business's most recent tax records, copies of each business owner's government-issued ID and a valid voided check.
2. Make Your Application As Complete As Possible
Try to make your application as complete as possible when you initially fill it out. Lenders tend to prioritize completed applications over ones with gaps in the information. This is because PPP loans do not have unlimited funding and completed applications provide a better picture of what funding a business needs. In addition, you should make sure your information is as exact as possible. Avoid rounding your calculations and numbers and make sure all your information matches or is flagged as updated if you apply for a second PPP loan.
3. Keep an Eye on Your Application's Progress
Check your application's progress regularly while you're waiting for approval. Most lenders will indicate whether the application is still pending approval or has been approved. If your application has been pending for some time, you can call to check on its progress. The progress indicator may also alert you that something is missing from your application or that an error has occurred during processing.
4. Thoroughly Review All Instructions
Always read the instructions carefully before you begin your application. Each lender may have different steps you need to follow, such as one lender requiring an ink signature while another will allow you to e-sign the application. If you submit an application containing errors, it's far less likely to be approved than a complete, pristine application. Keep the instructions on hand while you fill out your application and add any required documentation or other attachments. This way, you can quickly check them if you're unsure of a step. You should also keep the contact information for your lender on hand while you fill out the application, in case you have questions the instructions don't seem to answer.
5. Prepare for Delays
Try to factor potential delays into your application timeline. Many organizations across the country will be applying for PPP loans at the same time you are. Because of this, not only will there be times when application portals are overwhelmed, lenders will also need time to review and approve applications. Once approved, it will then take more time for disbursement to take place.
It can be frustrating and nerve-wracking waiting for your loan application to process. If you double-check the directions, include as much documentation and information as you can and make sure you're prepared for potential processing delays, the wait will be less stressful.