Written by The Business Journal Staff
The Biden Administration and the U.S. Small Business Administration are taking steps with the Paycheck Protection Program to further promote equitable relief for America’s mom-and-pop businesses.
To this end, the SBA on Monday announced new measures to ensure PPP money gets into the hands of small businesses:
— 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 Feb. 24 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.
“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.”
So far, the SBA has passed the milestone of 1.3 million PPP loans totaling $104 billion in the current round.
Some 82% went to smaller businesses requesting less than $10,000, and rural communities have been reached more effectively. Nearly 30% of small businesses that received funding come from rural areas.
The SBA also passed a $200 billion emergency funding milestone for the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. The deadline to apply has been extended to Dec. 31.