Streamlined PPP Application Released, House COVID-19 Employment, Workforce, & Business Recovery Committee Holds First Meeting, Latest Unemployment Numbers

Email to COVID-19 Mailing List: June 18th

Today’s COVID-19 business information compiled by your SC Chamber Team includes: Streamlined PPP Application Released, House COVID-19 Employment, Workforce, & Business Recovery Committee Holds First Meeting, Latest Unemployment Numbers

ICYMI: Commercial Real Estate Market Update Webinar

Yesterday, SC-based real estate leaders provided updates on current commercial real estate trends in the Upstate, Midlands, and Lowcountry markets. Speakers included David Lockwood with Colliers International, Steve Smith with CBRE, and Peter Fennelly with Bridge Commercial. Click here to view a recording of the webinar.


1. Streamlined PPP Application Released

Yesterday, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the US Department of Treasury (Treasury) announced updates to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan forgiveness applications.  

  • An update to the full PPP forgiveness application reflects the latest PPP loan rules as amended in the PPP Reform Act (see more about our coverage of this change here). 
  • Additionally, the SBA and Treasury announced a new, shorter, forgiveness application called the EZ Forgiveness Application – this application is only three pages and requires less information than the full application. 
  • Businesses with PPP loans can use the EZ Forgiveness Application if they:
    • Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
    • Did not reduce salaries or wages of employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number of hours of their employees; OR 
    • Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce salaries or wages of employees by more than 25%.
  • Over $100 billion currently remains in the PPP fund. The deadline for businesses to apply is June 30th. Learn more here.

2. House COVID-19 Employment, Workforce, & Business Recovery Committee Holds First Meeting

Yesterday, the House COVID-19 Employment, Workforce, & Business Recovery Committee, chaired by Rep. Kirkman Finlay, met for the first time. Other members of the committee are Reps. Beth Bernstein, Bart Blackwell, Paula Calhoon, William Cogswell, Shannon Erickson, Kambrell Garvin, Joe Jefferson, and Annie McDaniel.

This initial meeting was limited to member discussion to shape the discourse at future meetings. Topics included several items from the Chamber’s “Relief and Recovery Agenda for SC Businesses”:

  • Passing liability protection for businesses.
  • Shoring-up the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, so the burden of rebuilding doesn’t fall solely on the business community.
  • Increasing the availability of PPE for businesses.
  • Making streamlined guidance more easily accessible for businesses about how to file for unemployment and what to do if you have a positive case – perhaps setting up a hotline at DHEC for these types of questions.

The group also advanced another idea they plan to discuss at future meetings:

  • Creating a state microgrant/loan program for small businesses similar to the federal PPP – details regarding what types of business qualify and what kind of funds could be made available will need to be determined.

The committee plans to take testimony from pre-determined speakers at the next meeting; members intend to complete their work in three to four meetings and deliver recommendations to House Speaker Jay Lucas for consideration.


3. Latest Unemployment Numbers

The SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) released updated weekly unemployment numbers today:

  • For the week ending June 13th, the initial claims filed were 19,366.
  • This is a decrease of 3,368 initial claims from the week prior.
  • This is the 8th decrease in the last nine weeks.
  • In the last thirteen weeks, the total number of initial claims received is 601,631.
  • The agency has paid more than $2.2 billion in a combination of state unemployment insurance benefits and federal CARES Act programs.