Looking Back at the PPP: Loan Eligibility and Repayment Issues Faced by Sponsors and Portfolio Companies, and What to Expect in the Future

Congress enacted the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The CARES Act established the new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which expanded the existing Small Business Administration Section 7(a) loan program to provide cashflow assistance through 100‑percent federally backed loans to eligible businesses. The PPP program has not been without controversy, however, as a substantial number of loans were issued to ineligible companies during the hasty government rollout. In fact, over $30 billion was returned by companies – including fund managers and portfolio companies of PE sponsors – out of concern about the ramifications of improperly receiving loans. In a guest article, Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP attorneys Cynthia M. Krus and Jennifer L. Howard detail the confusion surrounding PPP loan eligibility amidst the program’s hasty rollout, explain why so many companies were forced to return their PPP loans and provide guidance for fund managers going forward. For more on the CARES Act, see “How to Effectively Claim Net Operating Losses Under the CARES Act Without Triggering Potential Negative Ramifications” (Aug. 11, 2020).

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