The Biden administration will give exclusive access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to the nation’s smallest businesses for two weeks in an initiative to help smaller, hard-hit businesses and other groups that often struggle more than larger businesses to secure funding from lenders.
On Wednesday, February 24, 2021 through March 9, 2021, the SBA will open the PPP loan application exclusively for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees.
This will give lenders and community partners more time to work with the smallest businesses to submit their applications, while also ensuring that larger PPP-eligible businesses will still have plenty of time to apply for and receive support before the program expires on March 31, 2021.Apply for the PPP
SBA also announced changes to open the PPP to more under-served small businesses than ever before. The SBA will:
- Strengthen its relationships with lender partners to advance equity goals, deliver funding efficiently, and prevent fraud, waste, and abuse.
- Allow sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support by revising the PPP’s funding formula.
- No longer disqualify access to the PPP for small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions, consistent with a bipartisan congressional proposal.
- No longer disqualify access to the PPP for small business owners who have struggled to make student loan payments.
- 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.
- President Biden also says the administration will establish a hotline with help available in multiple languages to assist businesses
The Big Picture
A critical goal from Congress for the latest round of PPP was to reach small and low- and moderate-income (LMI) businesses who have not received the needed relief a forgivable PPP loan provides.
Congress set $15 billion set-aside for small and LMI first draw borrowers. With existing policies, the current round has only deployed $2.4 billion to small LMI borrowers, in part because a disproportionate amount of funding in both wealthy and LMI areas is going to firms with more than 20 employees.