Your company jumped on the chance to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program. The uncertainty of COVID19, mandated stay home policies, and the shifting economy made that a prudent move.

Four months later, you find revenues are down less than you anticipated, you’ve been able to keep all your employees, except that bad one who left on their own (who you might have had to let go anyway, honestly). And you’ve already refilled that position. Keeping everyone on board during a revenue lost did require some assistance, but not a hundred percent of the loan amount.

The government regulations around where the funds can be applied has loosened up a bit, but you’re still committed to taking care of your team. With economic indicators placing the U.S. economy near Great Depression levels, you have some reticence about paying back the unused balance. It won’t be a challenge to justify spending all the funds (or report to the government how they were spent).

Local newspapers are starting to list organizations that received PPP loans and your company’s name is on the list. Customers and even your own employees are watching to see what you’re going to do next. Will you apply for full forgiveness, pay back part, or pay back all of the loan?

What decision is best for you, your employees, and the community at large? What will you do, and how can you make a decision that is in integrity with who you are as a leader, your company culture, and your commitment to the greater community?

As a coach, I ask questions that help CEOs make excellent decisions, create strategies, and accelerate growth. In this case, here are a few questions to consider:

What was your intent when you applied for the PPP loan?

What was the intent of Congress for funds to be distributed through the Paycheck Protection Act?

How will you leverage the funds in alignment with those intentions?

If you use the funds in alignment with the intentions of the program, and leverage the dollars in alignment with supporting employees to survive and thrive during this time of uncertainty, you will be able to seek full forgiveness in integrity. Integrity with yourself as a leader, integrity with your teams, and integrity with the community.

Thank you for being a leader who seeks integrity in everything you do.