SBA Opens Paycheck Protection Program Direct Forgiveness Portal

The U.S. Small Business Administration is launching a streamlined application portal to allow borrowers with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans under $150,000 through participating lenders to apply for forgiveness directly through the SBA.

“The opening of this portal allows a simpler method for borrower and lender to meet the need of the business, lender and the agency,” says Region 6 Acting Administrator Herbert Austin.

This change will help rush relief to more than 6.5 million of the smallest of small businesses nationally, which has been the priority of SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman. The new forgiveness platform will begin accepting applications from borrowers on August 4, 2021. Lenders are required to opt-in to this program through directforgiveness.sba.gov.

PeopleFund, a lender in Austin, Texas, was one of the first lenders in the area to sign up for the new portal in order to speed their forgiveness process.

“At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, PeopleFund started offering loans with no interest and no payments to bridge small businesses until the arrival of federal help,” says Gustavo Lasala, president and CEO. “That help first arrived in the form of the Paycheck Protection Program. For PeopleFund, it was an easy decision. We were already a proud SBA Lender and it was the right thing to do. So, just as first responders, we set out to help as many businesses as possible. In the last two years PeopleFund deployed $40 million and 1,800 PPP loans, helping more than 5,000 Texans retain their jobs. Across all programs, we deployed more capital than in the previous five years combined. Hope for a better future kept us going and we are deeply proud of the role that PeopleFund and many other organizations played during the crisis.”

In addition to the technology platform, the SBA is setting up a PPP customer service team to answer questions and directly assist borrowers with their forgiveness applications. Borrowers that need assistance or have questions should call (877) 552-2692, Monday through Friday, 8 am – 8 pm ET.

“This initiative will allow PPP borrowers to put their concerns of achieving full forgiveness behind them and focus on operating and growing their businesses again,” says Patrick Kelley, associate administrator for SBA’s Office of Capital Access. “We are pleased to be able to assist financial institutions across the U.S. in processing forgiveness applications for small-business owners.”

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