is there any reduction in forgiveness if i choose the 8 week forgiveness period and lay off employees right after the 8 weeks. or since the second act was passed did that now mean that i must maintain the headcount through to 12/31/20 or the end of 24 weeks
You must maintain your full-time equivalent employees through 8 weeks (for loans funded before June 5, 2020) and through 24 weeks (or December 31, 2020 if that date falls before the end of the 24 weeks) (for loans funded after June 4, 2020).
If your loan was funded before June 5, 2020 and you elect to use 24 weeks as your covered period, then you must maintain your full-time equivalent employees through the end of the 24 weeks.
Keep in mind, there is also a provision from the PPP Flexibility Act that does not require you to maintain full-time equivalent employees if you are unable to open your business (think of restaurants that can’t open back up).
This is a very rough summary of the rules. There is too much to answer in a simple message board because your question is too broad.