The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Act of 2020 was a lifeline for small business owners amid the shutdown... if only they could understand how it works. Cheyenne Lufkin '21 authored the translation.

The Paycheck Protection Program incentivizes small businesses to keep their workforce employed during the pandemic. The original bill was a bit ambiguous, and many small business owners were hesitant for fear they wouldn't qualify for loan forgiveness. So, on June 5, Congress passed the Flexibility Act, an amendment to the original bill. The below text, copied directly from the bill, neatly clears up the confusion, right?

(a) In General.--Section 7(a)(36)(K)(ii) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 636(a)(36)) is amended by inserting ``minimum maturity of 5 years and a'' before ``maximum maturity''. (b) <

Still confused? Lufkin to the rescue. She spent this summer as a Summer Legal Fellow at the Government Law Center at Albany Law. Lufkin conducted her own legal research and then drafted an explainer document that neatly articulates the salient points of the PPP Flexibility Act. Lufkin hopes the explainer helps small business owners better understand the federal program in order to take advantage of the loan and keep their doors open.

Lufkin began writing the explainer while the bill was still in Congress. She followed the progress of the Flexibility Act daily as it passed through both chambers before being signed into law by the President. This spring, Lufkin interned with her local Congresswoman. She used her contacts in Washington to gain insight while the bill was in the House of Representatives.

Lufkin's explainer was published on the Albany Law School website. She also describe her work and process in a podcast, and presented the paper to the Government Law Center.

Siena's summer legal fellowship program, organized by Len Cutler, Ph.D., professor of political science, offers real world experience for students interested in pursuing a career in law.  

"Conducting research with Albany Law over the summer has introduced me to legal research, and made me more comfortable using law databases which will help me get ahead in law school. The process of writing this explainer helped me pave the way to have a career as an attorney in the future. I hope that my explainer on the PPP will help businesses to understand the program better so that they do not fear using the funds." 


Cheyenne Lufkin '21