The Biden administration on Monday, February 22 announced changes to the payroll protection program with the goal of helping small and minority owned firms as well as sole proprietors.
Under these changes, the SBA will:
- 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 Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 9 a.m., while the other four changes will be implemented by the first week of March. The SBA indicating that they are working on the program changes and will communicate details throughout this week.
Goal is to expand access
According to the announcement, the changes will help even the playing field for firms that make up most of the small business community – 98% of small businesses employ fewer than 20 people but have received only 45% of PPP funding thus far, according to the SBA. They also aim to address racial disparities that have been seen in loans as earlier iterations of the program left out many minority-owned businesses.
The Administration’s announcement:
By Mark Friedlich, Esq., CPA.