Organized Dentistry Coalition supports Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness for PPE, supply costs

Washington — The Organized Dentistry Coalition is supporting a new bill calling for additional flexibility for loan forgiveness provisions in the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.

In a June 1 letter to Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., the dental organizations — led by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons — thanked the senator for introducing S 3716, the Main Street Enhancement and Safety Act. If enacted, the bill would allow loans provided under the Paycheck Protection Program to be used for personal protective equipment and other costs related to health and safety supplies and still be eligible for forgiveness.

The dental groups told the lawmaker that they appreciated her recognizing the impact these “additional and significant costs” — as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic — will have on small businesses.

“Dentists across the country are beginning to reopen their practices after closing completely or limiting their practice to emergency-only dental care during the pandemic,” the coalition wrote. “To protect patients, their staff and themselves from the spread of COVID-19, dentists are implementing enhanced infection control safeguards as called for in the updated Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the COVID-19 Response."

The groups pointed out that since many dental procedures generate aerosols, additional infection control measures and personal protective equipment are essential and their cost will have a “considerable economic impact” on businesses.

“[Paycheck Protection Program] loans have been a critical lifeline for many dental practices during this time of financial uncertainty and have afforded dentists the ability to retain or rehire their personnel before their practices are operating at full capacity,” the coalition wrote. “At the same time, dentists need to provide for their employees’ health and safety. By providing flexibility in how [Paycheck Protection Program] loan proceeds are utilized, your legislation will help dentists to mitigate the increased costs of [personal protective equipment] that will be required to safely return to providing care to patients while also protecting themselves and employees.”

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