Skip to Main Content

CARES ACT PART I: Your Guide to the Paycheck Protection Program

Posted: | Author: for Creatives On Call

CARES ACT PART I: Your Guide to the Paycheck Protection Program

Creatives On Call is working to provide for you the best resources we have on hand during this time. As an employer, if you no longer have the time to get the production work done that you used to now that you are in a new environment, reach out to us at and we’ll get you set up with one of many elite professionals ready to go. Thinking of pivoting in this new environment or have more time to job search? Email our recruiters at and let's talk opportunities. More information at


In late March 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) became law in the United States. The CARES Act includes several programs that seek to aid all aspects of the economy with provisions including cash payments to individuals, expanded unemployment eligibility and additional money from the federal government, temporary student loan relief, and emergency grants. 

Another program created by the CARES Act is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). PPP loans are FORGIVABLE LOANS which allow small businesses to continue paying employees rather than resorting to layoffs or furloughs. These loans are available to all businesses – including nonprofits, veterans organizations, Tribal business concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors - with 500 or fewer employees. 

Small businesses with fewer than 500 employees may apply now, and starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals may begin applying. 

NOTE: Do not confuse this program with the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan discussed in a previous post here. The Paycheck Protection Program is a separate loan and you may be eligible for both programs. You may also be able to benefit from expanded paid leave discussed here

The Nuts & Bolts of Forgiveness:

This loan will be forgiven as long as the recipient uses the funds to cover only payroll costs (including benefits), mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs over the 8 week period after the loan is made; and employee and compensation levels must be maintained (no layoffs, salary cuts, or unpaid furloughs). Mortgage, rent, and utility services must have been in effect before February 15, 2020. 

Loan forgiveness is not automatic! You will have to submit a forgiveness request directly to the loans servicer. The request will include documents that verify the number of full-time equivalent employees and pay rates, as well as the payments on eligible mortgage, lease, and utility obligations. The lender must make a decision on the forgiveness within 60 days. 

It is currently anticipated that non-payroll costs may not exceed 25% of the forgiven amount. 

What if I already decreased salaries, furloughed, or laid off employees? 

You have until June 30, 2020 to restore your full-time employment and salary levels for any changes made between February 15, 2020 and April 26, 2020. 

The Details of the Loan:

• Loan amounts will be based on two months of the average monthly payroll costs from the last year plus 25%, up to $10,000,000.

• If a business's monthly payroll is $40,000, it will be eligible for up to $100,000 ($40,000 x 2 = $80,000; plus 25% of $80,000 = $20,000). 

• Interest rate is fixed at 1.00%. All payments are deferred for six months and will be due in two years. There are no pre-payment penalties, personal guarantees or collateral required. 

• Payroll costs include: Salary, wages, commissions, or tips (capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee); employee benefits including vacation, sick leave, healthcare, retirement, payroll taxes, etc.   

• For a sole proprietor or independent contractor, payroll costs includes wages, commissions, income, or net earnings from self-employment, capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee. 

How to Apply:

Just contact your bank or credit union and ask if they are offering PPP loans. 

You will need to complete the Paycheck Protection Program loan application and submit the application with the required documentation to an approved lender that is available to process your application by June 30, 2020. The application is available here.

It is highly recommended applications be submitted ASAP. While applications will be accepted through June, funds are limited and lenders need time to process the loan. 


Further questions about how this relates to Creatives On Call? Reach out to your Recruiter or Client Services contact, and we'd be happy to help you out. Check out our Facebook channel and LinkedIn account for more updates and helpful resources, daily. For more remote resources now, check out our Resource List for Companies, our Resource List for Creatives and our Resource List for Parents during this work from home time.

The information provided in this post does not constitute legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, call an attorney. Terry M Cannon, Esq. is a practicing lawyer for a local law firm. He graduated from University of Cincinnati Law and is a member of the Kentucky Bar Association. 

Share on:  

Previous Blogs

6 Things Creatives Should Do During a Hiring Freeze

What exactly does a hiring freeze mean? How long do they typically last? And is a hiring freeze a ba... read more

6 Ways Managers Can Support Positive Employee Mental Health

In honor of mental health month, Creatives On Call has created a list of ways and resources for mana... read more

Getting Your Marketing Back On Track isn’t the time to cut back on marketing. It’s time... read more

How Uncertainty Impacts Retail Behavior

COVID-19 has upheaved everyday life, from dining out to working out and everything in between. So it... read more

Thank You from Creatives On Call

A letter of gratitude from CEO, April Koenig for all the amazing work being done on both the creativ... read more

How has COVID-19 Impacted Our View of Companies?

What have we learned through all this? Brands can make a difference. They have a role in reacting qu... read more

The Return to Work: Roadmap to Re-open Your Office Through COVID-19

What does the return to work look like and how do you create a plan for your company to re-open? Cre... read more

How to Keep Your Creative Team Productive During Remote Work

Maintaining productivity is a challenge. By shaking things up, you can keep your team involved and p... read more

What You Can Do with Zoom: Backgrounds, Branding, & Business Meetings

You'll be amazed at the features you may not know about that could impact your virtual meetings.... read more

Digital Marketing: What Does it Mean to be ADA Compliant?

Have extra downtime these days? Digital and virtual are even more critical right now. It's the perfe... read more

View More Blogs