As the U.S. government prepares to open the flood gates for $350 billion in COVID-19 relief, business are scrambling to prepare their loan applications. Businesses, sole proprietors, independent contractors and gig economy workers are eligible to borrow two and a half times their average monthly payroll cost. Total payroll costs line items beyond salaries, wages, commissions and tips. Vacation, parental, family, medical and sick leave, allowances for dismissal or separation, payment required for the provision of group health care benefits, including insurance premiums, payment of any retirement benefit, and payment of state or local tax assessed on the compensation of the employee are also included.
Calculating the amount of payroll costs can be a daunting task, especially if compensation to any one individual exceeds $100,000 because payroll costs are capped at this amount on an annualized basis for each employee. The calculation gets more complex for new businesses that do not have 12 months of expenses and seasonal businesses. Paying employees and subcontractors whose primary residence is not in the U.S. also impacts the amount a business is eligible to borrow because these pay amounts are excluded from total payroll costs.
In his mission to educate the community about the relief available to the South Florida business community from the CARES Act, Bernie Navarro, founder of the Benworth Family of Companies, created a tool to make the math a little easier. A calculator is posted on SBABizhelp.com. A second release will soon be available to include the calculation for the $100,000 annualized cap to any one individual.
“These are stressful times for businesses trying to make the hard decisions about staffing. Quite simply, I wanted to make the math easier,” Navarro explained. “By understanding all the line items that make up payroll costs as defined the Paycheck Protection Program, business owners can assess their maximum borrowing limit and make the right decisions to retain their employees.”
“SBA Lenders are inundated with calls and emails from businesses asking how much they can borrow,” he continued. “The calculator will offload some of the initial questions.”