New rule means Watertown business owner may now qualify for Paycheck Protection loan


New rules regarding the federal Paycheck Protection Program will affect local businesses. The updates involve loan terms and forgiveness and who is eligible. One KELOLAND business owner plans to apply now due to one specific change.

Businesses now have 24 weeks instead of eight to use their PPP funds.

To qualify for full forgiveness of their loans, borrowers now must spend 60% of their PPP funds for payroll expenses and can use the rest to pay for overhead costs such as rent, mortgage interest, and utilities, that’s down from 75%.

The new rules also give businesses more time to rehire staff and repay the money that isn’t forgiven.

But the change with the biggest impact for a Watertown business owner is for those who have a felony on their record.

Watertown eye doctor Melanie Weiss had to disclose on the loan application that she had been convicted of a felony within the last five years, even though the drug charges were removed from her record and she got her license back.

She told KELOLAND News in April: “I was denied, because of my background. It kind of was a stab in the heart. Wow I put my life back together and now this is being taken away from me too,” Weiss said on April 13.

Now that PPP rule has been changed to a one-year ineligibility for most convictions.

“I’m just elated today because I get to apply and hopefully have that funding so I can bring my staff back full time and get back to business; the best I can at this point in time.”

Watertown Eye Doctor, Melanie Weiss

Weiss reopened her clinic a month ago after being closed for five weeks, but only had the financing through the Watertown Development Company to bring her staff back part time.

However, people with a record of fraud, bribery, embezzlement or a false statement on a loan application or an application for federal assistance, sill aren’t eligible if convicted in the last five years.

Businesses have until June 30 to apply.

New rules for PPP

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