NAR has been working closely with Congress and the Administration to ensure the interests of REALTORS® and their clients are protected in any federal action in response to COVID-19. Many REALTORS® are small businesses, or work with them as clients. In the most recent relief package passed into law, the "Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act" or CARES Act, there were significant provisions aimed at assisting small businesses during this difficult time. The CARES Act appropriates more than $360 billion total for new Small Business Administration (SBA) programs - the 7(a) Paycheck Protection Program loans and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) advance grants program.
The SBA 7(a) Paycheck Protection Program loans (PPP loans) are intended to cover expenses for a business during any 8-week period between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. They can be used for payroll costs, rents, mortgage interest, and utilities.
Businesses can get the lesser of either 2.5x the average monthly payroll expenses they had for the year prior to the loan or $10 million dollars. When calculating payroll expenses, individual employee salaries are capped at $100,000 (prorated per month).
Up to 100% of the 7(a) PPP loans are forgivable. In order to be eligible for loan forgiveness, borrowers must put the loan money toward an eligible use, with at least 75% of the total amount going toward payroll costs, and keep the same number of employees on staff. As the amount of the loan that goes toward payroll expenses goes below 75% and/or as the number of employees is lowered, the forgivable amount of the loan is phased out. However – there is an exception: you will not be penalized for a reduction in employment or wages during the period from February 15, 2020 to April 26, 2020, if you rehire employees that you previously laid off or restore any decreases in wages or salaries by June 30, 2020.
Read more information here.