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Relief for Small Business

open for business sign of grey background
 
We're here to help small business get back to business. 
Learn more about applying for a PPP loan or loan forgiveness. 

The PPP program provides access to loans to help cover small business operating expenses and keep employees working. Loans come directly from Valley Bank and are guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA), which means you can work with the bank you know and trust.

Who Can Apply

This program is for any small business with less than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organization or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by coronavirus/COVID-19.

Businesses in certain industries may have more than 500 employees if they meet the SBA’s size standards for those industries. Small businesses in the hospitality and food industry with more than one location could also be eligible at the store and location level if the store employs less than 500 workers. This means each store location could be eligible.

Apply for a PPP loan 

To apply for a PPP loan, complete the following: 

  • Entity documents if we don’t already have these on file for you. (This includes articles, by-laws, and/or operating agreement.)
  • Documentation showing “payroll costs” by month, in total and per employee for 2019 and 2020, January through March, and indicating full-time and part-time employees.
  • Documentation of the number of employees, if any, as of February 15, 2020, if this number is not provided in previous documentation.
  • Documentation of any funds received in the form of an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) since January 31, 2020.

Send completed applications and documentation to vbhppp@valleybankhelena.com by August 8th, 2020. Physical applications may be submitted at the main branch located at 3030 N. Montana Avenue.

If you received a PPP loan, you may be eligible for forgiveness of all or part of the loan amount. Loan forgiveness is not automatic. You must apply for forgiveness and meet several requirements. 

The SBA has not released final guidance regarding processing of forgiveness applications, and we are not currently able to process applications. We encourage you to learn about the program and begin gathering information to apply.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) released an application for loan forgiveness on May 15th. On June 5th, legislative amendments were enacted in the “Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act,” or PPPFA, that do the following:

  • Change the breakdown of 75% - 25% payroll to non-payroll expenses to 60% - 40%.  
  • Extend the "covered period" from 8 weeks to 24 weeks, while still allowing the borrower to use the originally authorized 8-week period. 
  • Extend the deferral period for payments of principal, interest and fees to the date on which the amount of forgiveness is determined by the SBA and remitted to the lender. OR, if the borrower does not apply for forgiveness, 10 months after the last day of the “covered period.”
  • Expand the safe harbor for rehiring employees by allowing that forgiveness will not be affected by a reduction in employees if the borrower is able to document an inability to rehire individuals, hire similar qualified employees, or to return to the same level of business activity as it was operating at before February 15, 2020.
  • Extend the loan maturity minimum to 5 years for all loans on a go-forward basis. Any pre-existing loans may amend the note to reflect new maturity terms if both the lender and borrower mutually agree.
  • Allow borrowers with forgiven loans to defer payroll taxes.
  • Except for the maturity minimum, all changes apply to new and existing loans.  

The PPP program is intended to help small businesses keep employees on payroll. According to the SBA, your PPP loan may be forgiven if the proceeds are used for qualified expenses during the 8- or 24-week period after the funds are received.  

  • 60% of the loan amount must be used for payroll costs. These include:
    • Employee salaries, including bonuses and hazard pay - salary cap is $100,000 per employee.
    • Group health care benefits, retirement benefits, and state/local taxes on employee salaries.
  • No more than 40% of the loan amount can be used for non-payroll costs in place prior to February 15, 2020. These include mortgage interest, rent and utilities. Advance payments of interest on mortgages will not be eligible for loan forgiveness.

Loan forgiveness will require documentation and we encourage you to begin preparing now. Plan to provide detailed payroll and expense records—proof of these expenses must be provided for your loan to be considered for forgiveness. A tax professional or CPA can help with record-keeping.

Taking the following actions may help your loan qualify for forgiveness:

  • Keep disciplined records: Use account codes or sub-codes to create a detailed paper trail for qualified expenses.   
  • Keep supporting documents: Organize your documentation of PPP fund usage, especially for payroll, interest, rent, and utilities payments.
    • Payroll: Retain payroll registers and proof of ACH transfers. If you outsource to a professional employer organization (PEO), save your payroll invoice showing payroll costs and employee benefits.
    • Utilities: Keep invoices and statements for electric, gas, water, phone, internet and transportation. Gather documents that show utility agreements were in effect prior to February 15, 2020. 
    • Rent and mortgage interest: Keep proof of payments (cancelled checks, ACH records, etc.). Gather documents that show utility agreements were in effect prior to February 15, 2020.

Note: The SBA has stated that borrowers must retain PPP documents for at least six years after the date the loan is forgiven or paid in full. 

The SBA has not finalized guidance for processing of loan forgiveness applications; however, we expect to receive that guidance soon.

While we are not yet able to process forgiveness applications until the SBA’s guidance has been established, we encourage you to begin preparing your documentation now. Many Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA) changes are beneficial to borrowers, and it will be important to allow time for the SBA to implement the new rules prior to submitting your application for loan forgiveness.  

  • Submit your forgiveness application after the 8- or 24-week period following the date your PPP loan was funded. 
  • You must submit your forgiveness application within 10 months after the last day of your covered period. 

We will begin processing forgiveness applications when SBA guidance for processing them has been established.

At that point, we will review your application within 60 days of receiving it, before submitting it to the SBA. Decisions for full or partial loan forgiveness are made at the SBA’s discretion, and that process may take an additional 90 days.

We will begin processing forgiveness applications when SBA guidance for processing them has been established. Look for more information about submitting your forgiveness application on this page.

The SBA released two applications for PPP Loan Forgiveness, including a new version called the “EZ Application.” The EZ version may be used for borrowers that:

  •  Are self-employed and have no employees, OR
  • Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25% and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees, OR
  • Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID- 19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.

Once we have final guidance from the SBA are able to submit forgiveness requests, we will communicate the process for submitting your forgiveness application on this page.

Both applications and instructions are located below:

EZ Application

EZ Instructions

Standard Application

Standard Application Instructions

For more information about the Paycheck Protection Program, please visit the U.S. Small Business Administration's website.