Take Action on the Paycheck Protection Program

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On April 16, 2020 the Small Business Administration announced that the $350B allocated for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans have been depleted. This comes after the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program stopped accepting new applications as well.

Sources report that Congress is expected to replenish the funds to allow for more PPP loans. Lawmakers are facing substantial pressure to add more funding to the program next week.

The full $350B was depleted within two short weeks since the $2T stimulus bill was announced. This should serve as a call to action for any small businesses who have delayed in taking action on the PPP. If the funds are hopefully and likely replenished, they will only be available for a short amount of time before once again depleted. You can learn more about the PPP here, in a guide which details the loan eligibility and potential forgiveness up to the loan amount, for payroll and overhead costs (rent, utilities, interest). A business is likely eligible if it has 500 or fewer employees, a tangible net worth below $15M, and an annual net income below $5M. The loan application form can be found here.

Many veterinary practices and other small businesses are facing hardship due to greatly reduced patient volumes, especially for elective procedures. In an ongoing tracker maintained by VetSuccess, the majority of responding practices reported a decrease in revenues and patient volumes, with nearly all responding practices reporting some form of direct or indirect impact resulting from COVID-19. The AVMA recommends that practices follow “the 3 Cs for business survival: cash flow, communication, and the CARES Act” in order to face current and future economic changes. The AVMA’s Washington DC-based staff is calling for further protection and promotion of veterinarians to ensure viability of their businesses and staff. It’s their goal to support the veterinary community and ensure they’re able to perform essential work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic that helps protect both animal and human health.

There is clearly limited funding available through the PPP program. Further, the PPP loans will not provide financing to support compensation of individuals with annual earnings exceeding $100k. This means that many veterinarians’ personal income will not be supported through this program. For these reasons, practices should still seek to enable their earning power and ability to practice medicine remotely. Practices should seek to leverage technologies to supplement and sustain their revenues. We have worked hard to make such technologies and solutions available to you. We recently introduced our Telemedicine solution, allowing you to treat pets anywhere, anytime without the need for in-person contact. Because of its flexible cloud-based capabilities, you can log on to PetTracks and treat patients from your own home for visits where physical contact with the animal isn’t needed. If there are any other ways that we can help enable your practice and help you sustain your revenues, we encourage you to let us know at info@pettracksemr.com.

– Ben Scharfe, PetTracks

Ben Scharfe is a CPA, CA who has been with Harris Healthcare for over five years and is currently a member of the PetTracks leadership team.

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