Navigating PPP Forgiveness: What Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners Need to Know

Feb 16, 2024

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been a pivotal resource for entrepreneurs and small business owners navigating the economic turmoil brought on by the global pandemic. PPP loans were designed as a lifeline to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 crisis. However, as helpful as the loans were, it’s the forgiveness aspect that most business owners are currently wrestling with.

As of March 4, 2024, defaulted PPP loans under $100,000 that have not had forgiveness requested will be sent to the Department of Treasury. For the numerous businesses that took advantage of PPP loans, this upcoming deadline carries significant implications. Failure to apply for forgiveness could not only affect your credit score negatively, but it could also lead to reduced federal tax refunds or your debt being transferred to private collectors. This impact is real and imminent for nearly 4,000 borrowers in Arkansas alone, and more nationwide.

Understanding PPP Forgiveness

The PPP provides a unique opportunity for borrowers to qualify for loan forgiveness. The requirements for this include having utilized the loan amount on eligible payroll expenses, business mortgage interest payments, rent, or utilities over either an 8- or 24-week period following disbursement. Borrowers can initiate a request for forgiveness once they have fully expended the loan on these permitted costs. Importantly, forgiveness applications are accepted up until the loan’s maturity date. However, if borrowers fail to apply within 10 months following the covered period, the deferral on PPP loan payments ends and borrowers are obliged to start repayments to their PPP lender.

To achieve full forgiveness, borrowers must comply with specific criteria related to how they have used their funds. For a full list of documentation details, visit

The Key to Forgiveness: Action is Needed

To avoid referral to the Treasury, it’s paramount that borrowers submit their forgiveness application. There are two avenues for this process:

  1. Direct Application through the SBA – This can be completed online at
  2. Application through Your Lender – In some cases, you may be eligible or required to apply directly through the financial institution that provided you with the PPP loan.

A wealth of resources regarding PPP forgiveness is available at to guide you through the process.

Announcing the SBA’s Upcoming Webinar on PPP Forgiveness

Recognizing the critical need for clear guidance, the SBA Arkansas District Office (ARDO) is taking an active role in educating PPP borrowers. Next Thursday, February 22, 2024, at 11 a.m. CT, ARDO will host a comprehensive webinar that will dive into:

  • The specifics of the forgiveness requirement
  • The implications of failing to apply for forgiveness
  • Practical steps to take for submission of your application

This webinar is an invaluable opportunity for entrepreneurs to ask questions, understand the repercussions of non-compliance, and take informed actions to ensure the financial wellbeing of their business.

How to Register for the Webinar

Take the first step towards securing your loan forgiveness by registering for this online event. For registration, please visit: PPP Borrower Webinar Registration.

This event will answer all questions you may have about the process, so timely registration is highly encouraged.

Final Thoughts on PPP Forgiveness

The pathway to PPP loan forgiveness may be nuanced, but it’s navigable with the right knowledge and actions. By taking advantage of resources provided by the SBA and attending informative webinars, you can ensure that your business maximizes the benefits of the PPP.

As an entrepreneur, ensuring the continued growth and success of your business is always top of mind. By focusing on forgiveness application compliance, you’re safeguarding your business’s financial trajectory during these challenging economic times.

Remember, the deadline for PPP forgiveness is approaching. Make it your mission to resolve this matter efficiently — your business and peace of mind depend on it.

This blog is for educational purposes only. For more information or questions about PPP Forgiveness, contact the SBA Arkansas District Office (ARDO) at