The CARES Act & Optometry: A Replay of my Facebook Live Q&A Session


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Hello, and welcome to this episode of 20/20 Money! Today’s show is a unique one in many ways, starting out with a longer-than-normal introduction. This episode is actually a replay of the 75 minute Q&A session I did with the ODs on Finance Facebook group on all things related to the CARES Act and how it impacts optometrists.

It’s important to understand that, at the time of the live Q&A session, both the IRS and Small Business Administration (SBA) had not yet released additional guidance on aspects of the CARES Act. By far the most popular topic in this discussion was on the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP. Quite literally later that afternoon, the Treasury Department came out with guidance and interpretation of CARES and then the SBA released more additional, in-depth guidance two days later. Because (a) this was the most popular subject and (b) there are certain items of the PPP that have been clarified, I wanted to address those up front here in the introduction.

Here are the main points that have changed with regards to PPP:

  1. The amount of payroll includes wages, state and local taxes, costs paid to maintain group health insurance including premiums, and retirement plan contributions including profit sharing contributions if those contributions have already been made for 2019. The amount for payroll does NOT include federal taxes paid by employee and all employment taxes paid by employer and employee (SS and Medicare).
  2. When determining the amount of your loan (based on your average monthly payroll over the previous year), do NOT include independent contractors that you issued 1099 payments. ODs that worked in your practice as 1099 independent contractors will be eligible to apply for their own PPP, so do not include payments made to them in your calculations.
  3. The date to apply for small businesses and sole proprietors was April 3rd. Independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply on April 10th. You need to apply directly with a bank. Start with your existing banking relationship; every bank is rolling this program out differently and with a different process.
  4. The 8 week window for loan forgiveness begins after the loan is made.
  5. You have until June 30, 2020 to restore your full-time employment and salary levels for any changes made between February 15th and April 26, 2020.
  6. The terms of the note have changed from 10 years at 4% to 2 years at 1%.
  7. Any amount that was received as a $10,000 grant through an EIDL loan and was used to pay payroll costs will REDUCE the amount of PPP funds eligible for forgiveness.

Keep this information in mind as you’re listening to today’s episode. We’ve all been trying to figure out which way gravity is working these days, and the only thing that seems to be constant is change: change in regulations, change in laws, change in practice management. Please know that I’ll continue to do everything that I can to provide timely, correct, and relevant guidance to you as a listener of 20/20 Money. We’ve also been actively publishing information on our blog, so be sure to head to and click on the Learning Center to subscribe to our blog.

As a reminder, you can get all the information discussed in today’s conversation by viewing the show notes or by visiting our website at and clicking on the Learning Center. While there, you can also set up a 20-30min Discovery conversation to learn a little bit more about what it means to work with our firm or check out any number of additional free resources like our eBooks and on-demand webinars.

And with that introduction, I hope you enjoy this episode of 20/20 Money!

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