Us gig workers, we've always had something available. Whether it was a few runs a day, or a few hundred, we knew our finances were going to be taken care of because we always could work whenever we wanted. When this pandemic hit, either you were hit hard in a great way or in a negative way. Where are we now as this continues to drag on?
The US government put out a loan for small businesses to help keep employees drawing an income even when they couldn't get to their job site.
If a small business was forced to close down due to not providing an essential service or product, thousands and millions of employees had to switch to unemployment. This surge in unemployment put a strain on not only the agencies tasked with paying these claims out, but employers who still had to ensure they were going to be afloat during this. Business owners weren't always eligible for unemployment benefits, as they weren't classified as “employees”.
It has become a nightmare, but I digress.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was launched to help employers retain their workforce during the crisis, and when it launched, it was a mess. Now that things have been ironed out, and we're still not able to fully reopen businesses, the PPP is still active and some requirements have changed to help small businesses and sole proprietor business owners even further. This is where we come in.
As a gig worker, you're a sole proprietor, which means you can apply using the Gross Income you made during the time you've worked in the gig industry. You tell lenders how much you made in the forms they require, and they will contact the agency in charge of this loan guarantee on your behalf. Once they receive a guarantee from the government that your loan is protected (more on this in a minute), they extend your loan offer, you sign it, and money is paid out in a large chunk so you can get on with your life.
We've got a link at the end of this article to both the Small Business Administration and to a YouTuber named Max Maher who is one of the top sources of information regarding this PPP currently.
So, why do we say this loan gets a federal guarantee?
From the information I can gather, the government is telling these lenders that in the event that you cannot go back to work or your income changes so drastically that repayment is next to impossible, they will still get the money back. This is what they call a “forgivable loan”.
Now, let's jump into the quick and easy part, because this program closes March 31st 2021.
I've applied for this loan myself in the past and was denied, but parts have changed in it, so your mileage may vary (driving joke... I'll see myself out).
Gather your paperwork on your income, and any legal paperwork you have from your gig self-employment. Usually, all of this is available on your platform in your profile information. Check with your respective gig platform to find whatever is needed, as a wrong calculation can result in you being denied. Remember, you're keeping yourself employed, so be kind to yourself.
Given that we cannot provide legal advice and are in no way approved to offer financial advice on a professional level, follow the links below to see a quick list of what's needed to qualify, as well as Max Maher's link to the application, provided by Womply.
(Disclosure: We are not affiliated with Max Maher, SBA or any government agency providing this information. This article is for informational purposes only.