Managing cash flow and the economy

Photo of changes to consumer behavior because of COVID-19.

September 8, 2020

Get ahead of consumer behavior—because it’s changing fast

Businesses that can understand shifts in consumer behavior and quickly respond—or even anticipate them—may find it easier to reimagine a long-term business strategy that endures.

Photo of Karen Henninger and Lauren Stoope.

July 6, 2020

How other businesses are managing cash flow during this volatile time

Managing business cash flow can be a puzzle even in a good year. Hear how two business owners are coping.

Photo of a business owner who is managing cash flow during COVID-19.

June 1, 2020

Ideas from business owners to preserve cash flow

We asked these business owners to share ideas to preserve cash flow in a tough economy.

Ideas and action items


The Paycheck Protection Program isn’t the only loan program. You may be eligible for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, an Express Bridge Loan, an Economic Stabilization Loan, or other loan.


If you don’t want to borrow money, consider employer payroll tax relief or grants.


Look for loan or grant programs that you may be eligible for at the state or local level.


Adjusting your inventory to a just-in-time model may provide some budget savings.

Your toolkit

Use our tools to help determine your next steps.

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CARES Act decision guide

Decide how or if to use evolving CARES Act resources with this step-by-step process.

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CARES Act calculator

See how much relief your business might receive from the Paycheck Protection Program, and compare that to tax credits for retaining employees.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The amount of your Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan is calculated using a formula based on your monthly payroll costs and other factors. Estimate your amount using our PPP and tax credit calculator.

There’s a limit of one Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan per business. Despite this limit, the SBA has provided guidance saying the amount of a PPP loan could be increased, in a situation where a partnership did not count the self-employment income of partners as part of its payroll for its original loan. Similarly, some early loans went to seasonal employers for less than the maximum amount they were allowed because guidance had not yet been released. In those cases, for loans received before April 28, 2020, the amount of the loan may be increased based on guidance released that date.

The forgiveness period depends on when you applied for your loan. If you took a PPP loan before June 5, 2020, you can choose eight or 24 weeks (ending no later than December 31, 2020). Any loan received June 5 or later must use a 24-week forgiveness period (ending no later than December 31, 2020). How the forgiveness period works:

  • The eight- or 24-week period for making forgivable PPP loan expenditures is generally measured from the date the loan proceeds are disbursed.
  • However, if you use a biweekly (or more frequent) payroll schedule, you instead may elect to calculate eligible payroll costs using the period that begins on the first day of your first pay period following the day your loan is dispersed.
  • Covered expenses are those that were paid or incurred during the forgiveness period.
  • Payroll costs are considered paid on the day paychecks are distributed. Payroll costs are considered incurred on the day the employee’s pay is earned.
  • If a cost is incurred but not paid during the final pay period within the forgiveness window, you can still count it in the forgiveness if you will pay it before the next regular payroll date.

Forgivable expenses include payroll, rent or lease payments, mortgage interest, and utilities (whether they’re paid or incurred within the forgiveness window, as long as ultimately they’re paid before the next regular billing date). Interest on the PPP loan begins accruing on the loan origination date, but it’s also forgivable.

At least 60% of the amount forgiven must be used for payroll expenses, but the amount can be higher, up to 100%. Additional guidance may provide further clarity. See A-22 (PDF) for how to calculate the 60%.

The amount of forgiveness will be less if the employee head count or certain salary levels are reduced. See A-19 and A-20 (PDF) for details. Also subtract any Economic Injury Disaster Loan grant previously received by the business.

See the Paycheck Protection Program overview (PDF) for additional details.

EIDLs are designed to cover other disaster-related expenses, such as increased production costs due to supply- chain interruptions. They’re generally available to companies with 500 or fewer employees that can demonstrate a substantial economic injury due to a declared disaster. For-profit companies are eligible, as are nonprofits, ESOPs, sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals.

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The subject matter in this communication is educational only and provided with the understanding that Principal® is not rendering legal, accounting, investment advice or tax advice. You should consult with appropriate counsel or other advisors on all matters pertaining to legal, tax, investment or accounting obligations and requirements.

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