By Terri Denison SBA Georgia District Office Director
The U.S. Small Business Administration continues to take steps to make the Paycheck Protection Program more equitable for small businesses and underserved communities. Since the latest round of funding opened six weeks ago, the program has successfully reached smaller borrowers.
As of Feb. 28, nearly 2.2 million PPP loans have been approved totaling more than $156 billion. The share of funding for businesses with fewer than 10 employees is up nearly 60 percent, and 92 percent of PPP loans to businesses with 20 employees or fewer total nearly half of the loan volume to date. In total, the SBA has guaranteed more than 7.3 million PPP loans to keep employees on payroll and support operations during this pandemic.
While data underscores how the SBA has made real strides in ensuring funds reach the smallest of small businesses, the administration took additional steps last week to increase access to funds for low and moderate-income, rural, urban areas and other underserved areas.
On Wednesday, Feb. 24 the SBA implemented new changes to PPP that included:
· Establishing an exclusive 14-day PPP loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees
· Allowing 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
· Eliminating an exclusionary restriction on PPP access for small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions, consistent with a bipartisan congressional proposal
· Eliminating federal student loan debt delinquency and default as disqualifiers to participating in the PPP; and
· Ensuring 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 SBA will continue to find new ways to help communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Updated PPP information, including forms, guidance, and resources is available at www.sba.gov/ppp and www.treasury.gov/cares.
Terri Denison is the district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration Georgia District. The SBA empowers