COVID-19 Update: PPP Loans Are Still Available

By Desiree Homer

Dealers Nationwide Have Tapped In & Saved Jobs

Funds are still available and being offered through the Paycheck Protection Program for those dealers who have yet to apply or submit applications. In fact, there’s quite a bit left to the tune of $130 billion in unused funding, as reported at the end of June. Don’t let that amount fool you into thinking businesses haven’t been applying and receiving funds since the small business program was launched months ago. Dealers nationwide have already been receiving relief payments and keeping furloughed staff on the payroll. And for those who haven’t applied, the current economic uncertainties may warrant reconsideration.

Open for Applicants Through August 8, 2020

As the country surges forward with reopening, many regions are seeing increased cases of the virus. The threat of closing up businesses is becoming a real concern for a second time. For this reason, some dealers who opted not to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program initially, are reconsidering. On July 1, Congress officially approved the extension of the submission timeline for businesses through August 8. These potentially forgivable loans might be a much-needed lifeline for those dealers who may be faced with local economies affected by the resurgence of the Coronavirus.

Is the Auto Industry Really Using PPP?

Thousands of dealers have already leveraged the financial relief available from the federal government. According to the most recent analysis and data released by the Small Business Administration, roughly 12,693 new vehicle dealers collected between $6 billion and $10 billion in funding, collectively. Another nearly 2,000 used car dealerships received up to $1.5 billion in loans. Doing the math based on NADA’s 2019 total dealer headcount of more than 16,600, that’s nearly 76% of dealers nationwide, already using the Paycheck Protection Program in recent months.

‘There is nothing we can’t or won’t do.’

Mike Darrow, the President and COO of the Russ Darrow Group, talked with Dave Cantin in a recent podcast about how his group of stores has managed to adapt and remain resilient during the pandemic. Darrow’s best practices are centered around recognizing first that these times are proving to be unpredictable. So there has to be a willingness to change, and as he says, “there is nothing we can’t or won’t do.” As you peer through the looking glass of what your local markets look like over the next few weeks, Darrow’s advice couldn’t ring truer. Whether your communities are seeing rises in virus cases, have ongoing socio-economic protesting, or both, being ready to do what you have to do may be your best play. It may mean applying for the PPP loans to keep your teams paid.

You may have been financially secure enough when COVID-19 first hit to see through the initial waves of sheltering in place. But as the economic climate and pandemic conditions continue to be unpredictable, it may be helpful to know the PPP loans are still available for those dealers who may need it. The local banks and lending partners in your area will be ready for questions and can continue to submit applications. It may be worth considering now as part of your plan to do whatever it takes to get through these trying times.