COVID-19 relief options and additional resources

Five Tips About Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Illinois Small Businesses Should Know

Release Date: 
Tuesday, October 27, 2020

CHICAGO As the U.S. Small Business Administration continues working with lenders nationwide on the Paycheck Protection Program and processing PPP loan forgiveness, the SBA Illinois District shares five PPP loan forgiveness tips small business owners should know:

1. PPP loan forgiveness is applied for through a lender, not the SBA.

  • Borrowers can download PPP loan forgiveness applications from SBA’s website at and then submit it with required information to the lender that provided them with a forgivable PPP loan.
  • Lenders have up to 60 days to review a PPP loan forgiveness application and the SBA has up to 90 days to review the forgiveness application once received from the lender.
  • The SBA remits the amount forgiven to the lender, who must process the forgiveness payment before notifying the PPP borrower of the amount.

2. Approximately 71% of Illinois PPP borrowers are eligible for a simplified PPP loan forgiveness application that can take as little as 15 minutes to complete.

Earlier in October, the SBA and Treasury released a simpler forgiveness application for PPP loans of $50,000 or less and streamlined the PPP loan forgiveness process for a majority of the borrowers. The simplified application has only seven items for a PPP borrower to verify and significantly reduces the time and paperwork needed, providing financial and administrative relief to America’s smallest businesses while ensuring sound stewardship of taxpayer dollars.

3. Businesses still need to document PPP loan money was spent on eligible expenses.

Since a key part of forgiveness for PPP loans is using the money for eligible expenses, borrowers need to provide documentation, including verification of payroll and non-payroll expenses, with the forgiveness application as required by the CARES Act.

4. The SBA has already started remittance to lenders.

The SBA began approving PPP loan forgiveness applications and remitting forgiveness payments to lenders for PPP borrowers Oct. 2, 2020.

5. Help is available for the forgiveness process and recovery plans.

To ease small businesses through the forgiveness process and empower them to confidently move their business forward, the SBA has set up a recovery hub at with essential details, resiliency tips and connections to local assistance. SBA’s Resource Partner Network – which includes Illinois Small Business Development Centers, SCORE Mentors, Women’s Business Centers and the Veterans Business Outreach Center – also provides one-on-one business advising and technical assistance to small businesses at no- or low-cost. The SBA Illinois District is also partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development to present a webinar on loan programs available to help rural small businesses on Wednesday, Oct. 28. Details and registration info is available here:

“The Paycheck Protection Program was an overwhelming success for America’s small business sector, which is the engine of our economy,” SBA Great Lakes Regional Administrator Rob Scott said. “While working closely with lending institutions, our partners and community and economic leaders, we swiftly delivered more than $88 billion of much-needed economic relief to this region’s job creators. We remain dedicated to our mission to ensure small businesses can recover and continue to start, grow and expand as we safely reopen our economy.”

In the Great Lakes Region, 777,925 forgivable PPP loans valued at more than $88.1 billion were approved. In Illinois, 225,409 forgivable PPP loans valued at approximately $22.85 billion were approved. More information about the PPP is available at

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About the U.S. Small Business Administration  

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit