SBA Prioritizes Smallest Businesses For PPP Relief With 14-Day App Period

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is taking steps with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to promote equitable relief of the smallest businesses in the U.S. Beginning February 24, the SBA will implement a 14-day exclusive PPP loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees.

“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.”

Along with the exclusivity period, the SBA will 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. It is also eliminating an exclusionary restriction on PPP access for small-business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions, consistent with a bipartisan congressional proposal, and 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. The SBA is also taking steps to ensure access for non-citizen small-business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use their Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for the PPP.

The 14-day exclusivity period will start on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 9 am ET, 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.

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