The Biden administration announced several changes to the Paycheck Protection Program that helps businesses survive financial hardships amid the pandemic.
The story: The administration said on Monday that it will alter some of the rules in the PPP to make it easier for small businesses to obtain loans under the program. The changes are meant to help those who have previously missed out on accessing such loans.
“Small businesses account for 44 percent of U.S. GDP, create two-thirds of net new jobs, and employ nearly half of America’s workers. Now, millions of main street small businesses – especially Black- and Brown-owned small businesses – are struggling to make ends meet in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis,” the White House said.
“While these efforts are no substitute for passage of the American Rescue Plan, they will extend much-needed resources to help small businesses survive, reopen, and rebuild.”
The changes: Businesses with fewer than 20 employees will have two weeks to apply for funding, starting Wednesday, the White House announced in a fact sheet. Bigger businesses, with up to 300 employees, will be blocked during this period but will have the next three weeks to sign up for relief.
The administration will also change some eligibility rules to allow self-employed individuals, sole proprietors, and independent contractors to apply for a loan, designating $1 billion for them. Another change includes eliminating a previous rule that barred owners with non-fraud felony convictions to obtain relief, as well as businesses with owners who are delinquent on their federal student loans.
The loan program will also open up for Green Card holders or those in the country on visas.
Previously, the Biden administration increased loans for businesses with fewer than 10 employees by 60%, introduced a 30% increase for rural businesses, as well as a 40% jump in funding that has been distributed through Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions.
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Author: Penka Arsova
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