A news release from the U.S. Small Business Administration on Feb. 22 shared several statistics that, according to the agency, show it is prioritizing the “smallest of small businesses” with its latest round of Paycheck Protection Program loans. The percentage comparisons are with the rounds of PPP funding that took place in the spring and summer of 2020.
For businesses with fewer than 10 employees, the share of funding is up nearly 60%.
For businesses in rural communities, the share of funding is up nearly 30%.
The share of funding distributed through Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions is up more than 40%.
“While reported data illustrates we have made real strides in ensuring these funds are reaching underserved communities, we believe we can still do better,” SBA senior adviser Michael Roth said in the release.
To make those improvements, the SBA announced changes to the PPP application process. It established a 14-day, exclusive PPP loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees that began Feb. 24. And, starting early this month, the agency stated it 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;
- Eliminate an exclusionary restriction on PPP access for small business owners with prior nonfraud 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;
- Ensure access for noncitizen 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 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,” Roth said.
For more info, go to sba.gov/ppp and treasury.gov/cares.