A coalition of 16 national dental organizations has asked Congress for flexibility in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan costs related to personal protective equipment (PPE) since these groups expect significant increases in PPE use as dental practices enact measures to best protect their personnel and patients from COVID-19 infections.
“At this time, we are asking that the non-payroll costs that are allowable for PPE be expanded to include the cost of PPE,” the groups said in their letter to Congressional leadership.
Members of these organizations have begun receiving their loan funds and are deciding how they will apply them to non-payroll funds to receive full loan forgiveness, the groups said. They noted that as long as PPE purchases stay within the threshold of non-payroll-related costs, they should not be prevented from receiving full forgiveness of these loans.
“We understand that the intent of PPP was to encourage small businesses to retain or rehire their staff in a timely manner. However, both dentists and their employees are concerned about their health and safety, especially due to the fact they are particularly vulnerable,” the letter said.
While it is important to reopen dental practices and provide personnel with the wages and benefits they need, the groups said, they cannot do so without ensuring their health and safety as well. Flexibility for PPE loan proceeds will help mitigate the increased costs of the PPE that will be required to ensure that safety for personnel and patients alike.
“We believe that this flexibility could be done through agency action and be included in future guidance from the Department of the Treasury and the Small Business Administration. However, if congressional action is required, we are asking that this change be included in the next COVID-19 relief package,” the letter said.
The coalition included:
- The ADA
- The Academy of General Dentistry
- The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
- The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
- The American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
- The American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
- The American Academy of Periodontology
- The American Association for Dental Research
- The American Association of Endodontists
- The American Association of Orthodontics
- The American Association of Women Dentist
- The American College of Prosthodontists
- The American Dental Education Association
- The American Student Dental Association
- The National Dental Association