SBA to Prioritize Smallest of Small Businesses in Paycheck Protection Program

After  a month of strong results, the Biden-Harris Administration and the U.S. Small Business Administration announced they are taking steps with the Paycheck Protection Program to further promote equitable relief for America’s smallest of small businesses. 

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Photo by Gene Gallin on Unsplash

Latest round of PPP will support the smallest of small businesses

Small businesses employ nearly half of the American workforce, create 2 out of 3 net new private-sector jobs, and reinvest 68% of revenues to build and sustain communities. 

Our small businesses are essential to our nation’s economy and have been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic and have been fighting to survive since lockdowns and restrictions went into effect last year. 

The latest round of Paycheck Protection Program funding aims specifically to help the smallest of small businesses, such as mom-and-pop businesses with few employees. The latest round, which opened one month ago, already has succeeded in making major improvements to the program’s implementation:

  • For businesses with fewer than ten employees, the share of funding is up nearly 60%
  • For businesses in rural communities, the share of funding is up nearly 30%
  • The share of funding distributed through Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions is up more than 40%

“The SBA is a frontline agency working to create an inclusive economy, focused on reaching women-owned, minority-owned, low- and moderate-income, rural, and other underserved communities in meaningful ways. While reported data illustrates we have made real strides in ensuring these funds are reaching underserved communities, we believe we can still do better,” says SBA Senior Advisor Michael Roth. “The important policy changes we are announcing further ensure inclusivity and integrity by increasing access and much-needed aid to Main Street businesses that anchor our neighborhoods and help families build wealth.”  

You might be interested: Gov. Phil Murphy announces $100 million CARES Act funding for NJ small businesses affected by COVID-19

Steps to Promote Equitable Relief for Small Businesses

These simple progressive steps by the Biden-Harris Administration further demonstrate the commitment to racial and gender equity, reaching low and moderate-income, rural, urban, and other underserved areas. The SBA will:

  • Establish a 14-day, exclusive PPP loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees
  • Allow sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support by revising the PPP’s funding formula for these categories of applicants
  • Eliminate an exclusionary restriction on PPP access for small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions, consistent with a bipartisan congressional proposal
  • Eliminate PPP access restrictions on small business owners who have struggled to make federal student loan payments by eliminating federal student loan debt delinquency and default as disqualifiers to participating in the PPP; and
  • Ensure access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for the PPP.

The 14-day exclusivity period will start on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 9 a.m., while the other four changes will be implemented by the first week of March. The SBA is working on the program changes and will communicate details throughout this week.

Borrowers can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program by downloading the First Draw PPP loan application or Second Draw PPP loan application and working with a participating PPP lender through the SBA Lender Match tool.

Updated PPP information, including forms, guidance, and resources is available at www.sba.gov/ppp and www.treasury.gov/cares.

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