The US Treasury Department, which is administering the CERTS program, has made an important change to the application and how companies list their PPP loans/grants. This primarily affects those companies that filed an application within the first week of the June 19 portal opening.
The CERTS program is for motorcoach, school bus, passenger vessel, and pilotage vessel transportation service providers who were in business on March 1, 2020. The eligible transportation service provider must have experienced a revenue loss of 25 percent or more between calendar year 2019 and 2020 as a direct or indirect result of COVID. Note that operators who run limousine services generally are not eligible for this assistance, although there are exceptions. Click here for more eligibility requirements.
The application process initially only allowed companies to list one PPP loan number, while most companies applied for and received two rounds of PPP funding. The instructions weren’t clear, and the Treasury apparently mistakenly assumed applicants would add the amounts together.
Operators who only listed one PPP loan amount but received both rounds will need to log back in to the application and amend the amount. To do so, contact Treasury at CERTS@treasury.gov or via the helpdesk at 877.398.5862 and request that your application be opened so you can correct the error.
The National Limousine Association also reported on Facebook that applications must include the correct NAICS code on your tax returns. NLA noted that most members will likely use 485320 (limo services), which is not listed as an approved code. If you are applying for CERTS and you have 485320 listed as your code, you should immediately update it to reflect the actual business model with the proper NAICS code (note that this may require filing an amended tax return). NLA urged operators to consult their CPA, noting that acceptable codes were 485990 (All Ground Transportation) or 485510 (Charter Bus Industry).
Additionally, Treasury has updated its FAQs (as of June 29) to address the issues and questions that have arisen since the application portal opened on June 19.
Need More Assistance?
If you are still looking to apply—the deadline is currently July 19 at 11:59 p.m. ET— and have questions, the United Motorcoach Association (UMA) will address the program changes in its weekly onlineTown Hall meeting on Thursday, July 1 at 2 p.m. ET (registration required). The American Bus Association (ABA) will also host a webinar on the updates to the process on July 7 at 3 p.m. ET. The webinar will include what members who have completed process experienced and their advice on a smooth application submission (registration required).
Matt Daus also explains the program in detail and how to apply here. His law firm, Windels Marx, is also available to answer any questions or assist operators with applications.