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Navigating Through Uncharted Waters

Sean Rogers on helping clients navigate the PPP

At GM Advisory Group, team members are accustomed to being on call for clients when life throws a curve-ball their way—and this could not have been truer this past spring, when the COVID-19 pandemic caused havoc for business owners, employers, and employees.

In response to the pandemic outbreak—and the economic shutdown measures that were implemented to reduce the spread of the virus—Congress passed the CARES Act in late March, providing financial stimulus to individuals and businesses alike. One of the key features of the legislation, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), made loans available to small businesses to keep their workers on payroll and offered full forgiveness for those who met the key requirements relating to the use of the funds.

Many of our clients own small businesses, and we understood that shutdowns and other economic factors would have a significant impact on them. We mobilized quickly to provide relevant, accurate, and thoughtful guidance. Our Managing Principal Frank Marzano set up a centralized team focused on handling all PPP-related Immediately Sean and Chris focused themselves and their teams, including Katheryn Jones, one of our Wealth Strategists, on interpreting the legislation so GMAG could advise our business owner clients on their options. Understanding the legislation was one part of the lift; the other was to review with the clients their particular circumstances, including industry codes, payroll records, employee headcounts, and other data, to help them determine, whether their businesses were eligible for the program.

“There were challenges that presented themselves because there were limited funds available and a short window to apply for funds,” Sean said. “We were able to help clients respond quickly to the application process and, in some cases, to the need to change banking relationships to those that
could meet the PPP loan demand requests in times of crisis.”

“We would speak to one client, and they would say, ‘I have two friends who need help,’” Sean added. “There was a high demand for information on the Cares Act, and not only were we ready to provide advice to our clients based upon their facts and circumstances, but we also published”

“We are grateful to know that our clients counted on us to guide them through this unchartered territory. We are proud to say that we have successfully helped our clients through the application, underwriting, and closing process of this historic loan program.”

“There wasn’t one answer for every company,” Sean said. “We had to go company by company, industry by industry, owner by owner to dig into their business to help them determine whether the PPP loan option was an option for them both from an eligibility and business planning perspective.”

When clients determined they would apply for the PPP loan, GMAG was able to guide them through the process—including analyzing the calculations of the loan request amounts, explaining the application process and the requirements that would put them in a position to anticipate maximum loan forgiveness, and reviewing whether their banking relationships were able to lend and respond quickly timely interpretation through our social media channels, including our website. That’s really what GMAG is about. We want to help as many people as possible.”

Today, it’s clear that the system GMAG devised for managing PPP requests created a blueprint for executing timely, agile responses that could be used in the event of future crises.

Although the work on PPP is not over, the second stimulus package, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, is now available. Our team is now focusing on the new stimulus along with tax matters related to the first round of loans.

GMAG does not provide any express or implied guarantees that the information contained herein is accurate or complete. No representation, warranty or undertaking, express or implied, is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein, by GMAG, its members, partners or employees, and no liability is accepted by such persons for the accuracy or completeness of any such information.

GM Advisory Group does not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. This material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting professionals before establishing any plan or engaging in any transaction.