Watch CBS News

Experts: Changes To Paycheck Protection Program Offer Relief To Businesses Wounded By Coronavirus Shutdown

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Local businesses are in the process of reopening this week, and while many are struggling, some are getting a new boost in the form of federal dollars.

CBS2's Dick Brennan has more on the changes in the Paycheck Protection Program.

"The first round, people did not know what to do. The second round the government has gotten much better," said CPA Paul Miller of Miller & Company LLP.

Miller knows his way around the PPP and said the first go-arounds for companies were tough.

"The first round was challenging because a lot of people applied and didn't know they were at, and the government learned from all their mistakes," Miller said.


So the process got better, and now, so did the payoff. The PPP gives loans to businesses, and if they abide by the rules, the loans can be forgiven.

And the rules just got more favorable, thanks to a new bill passed in Washington.

When asked how important the bill President Donald Trump signed is, David Lewis of Operations Inc., said, "Huge. This bill is a game-changer."

MORECBS2 Gets Clarification From SBA On What Lies Ahead For Local Businesses And Paycheck Protection Program

Lewis said now most businesses that got the PPP won't have to pay a penny back.

"They said that instead of you being able to account for only eight weeks of payroll, now you can account for 24 weeks of payroll. That's a huge difference. You're talking about a tripling of the amount of payroll credit," Lewis said.

But that's not all. You're now able to use more money, up to 40%, toward rent.

"A lot of small businesses, especially in the Tri-State Area, are businesses that have huge rental expenses, and now this change in the bill allows for more of the program to pay for rent," CBS business analyst Jill Schlesinger said.


The PPP was a savior for The Bronx Design Group, which almost had to stop the presses.

"We lost over 80%, maybe 90%. It was devastating to tell my employees that we didn't have enough money to pay them," Design Group owner Geri Sciortino said.

But eventually, with the help of a PPP grant, all seven employees were able to return.

"This is like home, so being back here ... I was thankful and excited just to come back," employee Jude Dervil said.

Analysts say there are worries about a lagging economy, but now businesses have six months of breathing room, and hopefully time to rebuild.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.