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The Top 8 PPP Myths, Busted



Not sure if the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is right for you? Even as it’s extended from eight weeks to 24, there are a lot of PPP myths floating around.

Don’t let these myths stop you from getting the loan your business needs. Our partners at Bench have put together a short video busting the most common PPP myths. Check it out—you’ll be glad you did.

Here’s a summary:

PPP MYTH #1: There’s no point in applying

The PPP is definitely worth applying for. A lot of small business owners applied for the first round of PPP funding, never heard back from their banks, and gave up.


While it’s true that overwhelming demand has slowed down some banks’ approval processes, that doesn’t mean you should give up on PPP. In fact, it’s now easier than ever to apply.


The SBA is working with financial technology (fintech) companies to make PPP applications more available en masse. You can apply for PPP online through one of these companies, without ever having to leave your home. And you don’t need to worry about your application falling through the cracks.


If you have already applied for PPP through a bank but haven’t heard back, you can apply again through a different institution.


(One exception: If the bank gave you an etran number, the funds have already been committed to you. Any additional applications will be automatically rejected.)


Bench has made it easy to apply for PPP through popular online lender BlueVine. The Bench and BlueVine PPP page walks you through the process, complete with videos, explaining each document you need to supply.

PPP MYTH #2: Only big businesses are receiving PPP loans

Small businesses qualify for PPP every day.


Early during the first round of funding, application requirements changed frequently, and small businesses were struggling to meet them. In some cases, smaller businesses may have been passed over for loans, especially as the fund began to run out.


The second round has corrected many of those problems. Larger businesses are less eligible, meaning small businesses have a better chance at approval. And a portion of second round funding was given to smaller local banks, in order to make it more accessible to small businesses.

PPP MYTH #3: All the funds are gone

This is 100% false. The mad rush of PPP’s early days are over, and there’s plenty of funding to go around. PPP still has $150 billion available across both rounds of funding. So take your time to fill out a good application, include all necessary documents, and apply.

PPP MYTH #4: If you don’t have payroll you aren’t eligible

You do not need payroll in order to qualify for PPP. If you’re a self-employed sole proprietor or partnership member, you can still qualify for PPP.


The term “Paycheck Protection Program” is misleading, in this case. You don’t need to write paychecks to get covered.


When you apply, your loan amount—and forgiveness—will be based on your 2019 net income, as reported on Schedule C of your tax return.

PPP MYTH #5: PPP does not apply to contractors

Companies cannot pay you, a contractor, using their PPP funds. However, you can still get PPP funding.


Here’s why. Early on, companies were allowed to use PPP funding to pay contractors. That changed during the first round, and now they can use it only to pay employees.


There’s a reason for that: You qualify for your own PPP. If you’re self-employed, then the government automatically considers you a sole proprietorship. So you can apply for PPP funding for your business.


Your loan amount, and forgiveness, well be based on your prior income as reported on 1099-MISC forms.

PPP MYTH #6: Forgiveness won’t apply to my business

Even if you don’t qualify to have all your loan forgiven, you may get a portion of it covered.


PPP forgiveness isn’t a binary—forgiven vs. unforgiven. It’s a sliding scale. It’s worth applying, because that portion you do have forgiven is still a great resource—essentially, a tax free grant from the government.


The portion you have to pay back isn’t expensive, either. Interest is set at 1% over two years, with the first six months deferred. It’s still an incredibly cheap small business loan.


PPP MYTH #7: PPP could harm my credit or trigger an audit

PPP does not require a credit check, so applying won’t harm your score.


Also, while the rules may eventually change, for now the government is saying they won’t audit anyone who gets a PPP loan of less than $2 million.

PPP MYTH #8: If you get EIDL, you can’t get PPP

You can receive both the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and PPP. In fact, the two are designed to be used together.


If you’ve already received EIDL, you need to report the amount when you apply for PPP. This will affect how much you’re qualified for, and how much you’re forgiven.


Don’t let having one loan influence your decision to apply for another, other than being sure to accurately report the amounts when you do apply.


One more guideline: Be organized about how you use EIDL and PPP. Use each to cover the expenses they’re designed for. For instance, don’t use EIDL to cover payroll when you could use PPP instead.

Expertly prepared books will increase your chances of receiving PPP funding and forgiveness. Connect with the pros at Bench who can help you get your books taken care of, so you can take back control of your business.

Ash Exantus aka Ash Cash is one of the nation’s top personal finance experts. Dubbed as the Hip-Hop Financial Motivator, he uses a culturally responsive approach in teaching financial literacy. He is also a speaker, and bestselling author of six books. Ash has established himself as a thought leader and trusted voice with Corporate America, Colleges, Churches, and Community based organizations. Ash is best known for helping people maximize their full potentials by giving them the inspiration, tools, and resources needed to live their best lives. For more info on Ash please visit


Black Wall Street 2.0



Are we starting to build Black Wall Street 2.0 with the latest merger between Broadway Financial Corporation and City First Banc Corporation?  In August, two black owned banks, Broadway Financial Corporation and City First Banc Corporation decided to come together to create the largest black-led minority depository institution in the United States.  Broadway and City First each hold a strong financial position as Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).  Both banks have a history of advancing economic and social equity through capital in low to moderate income communities.   As of June 30, 2020, Broadway and City First have deployed a combined $1.1 billion in loans and investments in their communities since 2015.

This merger will create jobs, close funding gaps, expand critical social services, and economic development.  As Brian E. Argrett, who is President and CEO of City First Bank and the Vice Chair and CEO of the new combined institution stated, “Given the compounding factors of a global pandemic, unprecedented unemployment and social unrest resulting from centuries of inequities, the work of CDFIs has never been more urgent and necessary”. “As part of this historic merger, we are demonstrating that thriving urban neighborhoods are viable markets that require a dedicated focus, long-term commitment and critical access to capital.”

Wayne-Kent Bradshaw, Broadway’s President and CEO and now the board leader also stated: “The new combined institution will strengthen our position and will help drive both sustainable economic growth and societal returns,” “We envision building stronger profitability and creating a multiplier effect of capital availability for our customers and for the communities we serve.”

This merger is a game changer in the financial industry to be the largest minority depository institution, but also for the communities the institution serves.  The economic development and growth this merger will bring to help create jobs, create opportunities for business owners, and homeowners are just the start.  The communities the institution will invest in will create social services by allowing children to see another career choice.  We are expecting great opportunities for this merger to show society when we invest in urban communities, the outcome for neighborhoods and future generations are sure to change.

We are continuing to take back our power as consumers and we are not waiting for anyone to save us. We are reaching back into our own communities by investing in them while changing the narrative.  This merger will open doors for new business owners to seek small business loans. The long-term renter that will have the opportunity to seek first-time home buyer’s guidance from a bank that not only looks like them but also can relate to their plight. The young graduate can start their career at one of the bank locations that will be created. Possibilities are endless with this merger from job creations to improving the people lives in the surrounding community.  It our modern day, The Banker, the movie based off a true story, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie.  In the movie, the two crusaders purchased real estate, banks, and buildings to make opportunities available to the black community.

The merger is expecting to expand in the banks’ current geographic areas and to expand to other high-potential urban markets, throughout the United States.  The merger is expected to close the first quarter of 2021. We are looking forward to the future of Broadway and City First Banc, where this may be a start of the new Black Wall Street.

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The Business of Black Struggle: How Stereotypes Help Ad Revenue + How to Change the Narrative



What you see more online is what becomes reality for most in 2020. Politics, Pandemic, Black Lives Matter Movement and Small Businesses, all have became the growing highlights of socialmedia. Every person has the ability to search, post videos from their smart phones; which creates a perception of the world around us, including our relationship with ourselves.

Anyway you look at things, Advertisers don’t just shove things into ads. They study what people like and then try to design an approach that will appeal to their target audience. On “The Ash Cash Show” episode this past Friday, Ash Cash shared thoughts on Ad Revenue; how socialmedia is a powerful tool in Ad Revenue and how we as consumers can control the narratives on how the world sees us and markets to us.

When it comes to what goes into an ad, advertisers have a long list of techniques to choose from. They can decide whether you might like a funny ad better than a touching one, or whether it might work best to get you to see their product as the solution to something you fear (acne or body odor, for example).

Through social media, Black consumers have brokered a seat at the table and are demanding that brands and marketers speak to them in ways that resonate culturally and experientially—if these brands want their business. And with African Americans spending $1.4 trillion annually as of 2020, brands have a lot to lose. Scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, you will see what is important to consumers.


Black Consumer’s spending already significantly affects the bottom line in many categories and industries.The enormous buying potential of Black consumers has put a spotlight on many popular brands’ ability to navigate the nuances of culturally relevant and socially conscious marketing.

We have the power to change the way we are viewed on socialmedia and who gets our dollars. Who are you as a customer online? What is your primary social network? What online content are you consuming the most? Focus on your socialmedia presence and interest, this will protect your dollars. Activate and pay attention to your own social campaign that’s attracting brands to your communities.

55 critical social media statistics to fuel your 2020 strategy


Your content presence online is a representation of you and your community. Change the narrative of what represents you as a consumer. Learn about being equal in parts of the right media mix and alignment with the correct visual representation of your dollars.

You have to test, measure, and expand your messaging and content across various media formats. Track, listen, and learn what content drives the most engagement and conversion. TAP IN! Presently, African Americans comprise more users on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram than non-Hispanic white consumers. With that power you can control how brands market and advertise.

As cultural trendsetters and informed shoppers, the influence and importance in our economy is stronger than ever. As such, brands have to sharpen their strategies, best to be ready to engage.






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Magic Johnson’s Company Helps Fund $100 Million To Small Businesses



Magic Johnson‘s life insurance company, EquiTrust Life Insurance Co., is helping small businesses owned by women and minority groups secure upwards of $100 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans.

The work Johnson’s company is doing is through the Small Business Administration PPP program and is in partnership with MBE Capital Partners.

“We knew why the money was gone and couldn’t trickle down to small businesses, especially small minority businesses, because they didn’t have those great relationships with the banks,” Johnson told the Wall Street Journal. “So this was easy for us to understand.

“This is, when you think about it, life and death for so many business owners. They have nowhere else to turn.”

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