The federal government approved a second round of paycheck protection program (PPP) loans just before the New Year. This new round of relief, dubbed PPP-2, has expanded eligibility requirements to 501(c)(6) nonprofits, like trade associations and chambers of commerce, as well as news organizations.
PPP-2 also names cloud services as eligible, non-payroll expenses for funding.
More specifically, Congress expanded the definition of operational expenses to include “any business software or cloud computing service that facilitates business operations, product or service delivery, the processing, payment, or tracking of payroll expenses, human resources, sales and billing functions, or accounting or tracking of supplies, inventory, records and expenses.”
A Strategic Approach to Cloud Investments
It’s no secret that the cloud has been a lifeline for organizations that were forced to shift to 100 percent remote working nearly a year ago. Of course, the transition wasn’t always seamless, especially for small businesses.
Because there was little time to prepare, decisions were often made with limited research. Budgets were reassessed on the fly, and many companies exceeded their IT budgets to keep their organizations functioning.
In fact, the Flexera 2020 State of the Cloud Report found that companies go over their cloud budget by an average of 23 percent. They still expected to increase cloud spending, however, by 47 percent in 2021.
PPP-2 gives small businesses an opportunity to ensure that their cloud and software investments are aligned with business needs. They can clean up and optimize their IT environment with a clear understanding of what cloud solutions serve what purpose while maximizing cost efficiency.
Investments in cloud services and software upgrades will help companies with both short-term recovery and long-term growth. As a cloud solutions provider, Ancero can help you assess business needs and show you the advantages of:
- Moving business applications as well as your phone system and contact center to the cloud.
- Plugging into the cloud with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) instead of building and managing onsite infrastructure.
- Implementing Ancero Cloud Workspace to enable productive, secure remote working.
- Using Microsoft 365 to consolidate multiple data and email platforms into the most widely used Software as a Service (SaaS) solution among small to midsize businesses.
The PPP-2 Deadline Is March 31
The biggest problem with the rollout of the first round of PPP was confusion, which resulted in thousands of small businesses missing out on much-needed assistance. That’s not the case today.
With a better understanding of how PPP works and guidance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), we encourage eligible small businesses to use PPP-2 to not only ease the financial strain caused by COVID-19, but to invest in cloud services that will support future growth and resilience to crisis.
Keep in mind that 100 percent loan forgiveness is available to borrowers who are approved for a PPP loan and meet the criteria established by the original CARES Act passed in March of 2020 and existing SBA rules. Small businesses should visit the SBA website for more information on PPP-2 eligibility, lenders, loan forgiveness, and additional coronavirus relief resources.
If you need help understanding how to take full advantage of the cloud to support remote working and your long-term business strategy, contact Ancero today to schedule a consultation.