New PPP loan forgiveness guidance leaves some Chicago small businesses with more questions

CHICAGO (WLS) -- New guidance from the federal government on Payroll Protection Program loans is leaving some small business owners with even more questions.

PPP loans can be forgiven if all the rules are followed. The U.S. Small Business Administration recently released guidelines about how to have your PPP loan forgiven, which business owners said answered some, but not all, of their questions.

"A lot of people are halfway through their eight-week period, they needed to know this information not just four weeks ago but preferably when they applied in the first place," said Nancy McClelland, The Dancing Accountant.

Chef Mario Santiago, co-owner of Catering by May Street, said they were grateful to get a PPP loan after three rejections, but he still has to navigate the forgiveness rules.

The PPP Forgiveness Application does not answer whether owners can use the loan money for previous rent.

"The answer is yes, as long as you are paying your rent and utilities in the eight-week forgiveness period, you will get forgiveness for that," McClelland said.

While more guidance is expected from the SBA, lenders are trying to prepare clients to keep careful records. It's going to be a lot of work, the Small Business Advocacy Council said, but it will be worth it to have that thorough documentation when it's time to file for loan forgiveness.

If any small business owner has to pay back the low-interest PPP loan, they have two years with payments deferred for six months.

Click here to get the PPP Loan Forgiveness Application.
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