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ADA requests additional PPP changes to help dental practices

Letter urges Congress to provide start-up small businesses with access to PPP, allow businesses to choose any 3-month period to illustrate reduction in revenue

February 22, 2021

By Jennifer Garvin

Washington — The ADA is urging Congress to consider additional changes to the Paycheck Protection Program in the next COVID-19 relief package to ensure that small businesses, including dental practices, are able to easily access and utilize this critical loan program.

In a Feb. 19 letter to leaders of the House Committee on Small Business and Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, ADA President Daniel J. Klemmedson, D.D.S., M.D., and Executive Director Kathleen T. O’Loughlin, D.M.D., thanked lawmakers for their continued efforts to combat the challenging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic but stressed the need for continued improvements to the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP.

“A majority of dental practices are small businesses, and PPP has been key to ensuring those dental practices continue to retain and pay their employees, as well as provide essential oral health care services to their patients,” Drs. Klemmedson and O’Loughlin wrote. “However, PPP could be improved if Congress enacted some changes, especially regarding second draw PPP loans.”

These changes include:

• Providing start-up small businesses that opened after Feb. 15, 2020, with access to PPP and other federal small business loans/grants.
• Allowing businesses to choose any 3-month period to illustrate a 25% reduction in revenue for second draw PPP loans.
• Ensuring that lenders are not requiring overly burdensome documentation to apply for a second draw PPP loan.

“Many small businesses, including dental practices, opened their doors in 2020 and were immediately forced to close or downsize and lay off employees due to the pandemic, and yet they cannot access PPP or other loan programs,” Drs. Klemmedson and O’Loughlin said. “These ‘start-up’ businesses and their employees need access to federal aid as well.”

The letter also noted that for many dental practices, the peak time of lost revenue “did not occur in a fixed calendar quarter,” but instead occurred for the months of March, April and May in 2020, making them ineligible to apply for a second draw PPP loan.

“Congress should create flexibility to ensure that any 3-month period reflecting a 25% decline in revenue, even outside of a traditional calendar quarter, would allow eligibility for a second draw PPP loan,” they said.

The ADA also said they have heard from member dentists that some lenders seem to be requiring additional information during the application process for second draw PPP loans beyond what was mandated in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

“Congress, in conjunction with the Small Business Administration, should ensure that PPP participating lenders are not requiring overly burdensome documentation for PPP second draw borrowers,” the letter concluded. “Requiring information beyond the scope of what was enacted merely deters borrowers from seeking PPP funds that are critical to keeping their businesses open and their employees paid.”

For more information about the ADA’s advocacy efforts during COVID-19, visit ADA.org/COVID19Advocacy.