May 5, 2020

Construction Official Urges Treasury Department to Clarify Recent, Confusing, Guidance that is Prompting Many Construction Firms to Return Loans, Cut Staff Instead of Risking Prosecution

The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, issued the following statement in reaction to the Treasury Department’s announcement that it will extend the deadline for allowing firms to return their Paycheck Protection Program loans from May 7th to May 14th:

“The Treasury Department is right to extend its initial deadline for encouraging firms to return their Paycheck Protection Program loans, as we and other groups requested. But giving firms more time will do little to protect jobs or support small businesses unless the administration also clarifies recent, confusing, Paycheck Protection Program guidance. That guidance requires borrowers to certify that ‘current economic uncertainty’ made the loan requests necessary and that they must also take into account their access to ‘other sources of liquidity.’

“This vague guidance has prompted many construction employers to reconsider their acceptance of the loans. Indeed, nearly 11 percent of construction employers that received the loans report they are considering returning them and laying off staff because of the confusion around this guidance, according to a survey the association is running this week and will release on Friday.

“Unless the Treasury Department provides clearer, well-defined, guidance about who qualifies for these loans, many small employers will have no choice but to return the funds and cut staff. Extending the deadline without fixing the guidance will only delay even more job losses for another seven days.”

https://www.agc.org/news/2020/05/05/decision-extend-paycheck-protection-program-loan-return-deadline-may-14th-helps