The U.S. Small Business Administration has established a 14-day exclusive loan application period for the Paycheck Protection Program that broadens eligibility.

The latest round of Paycheck Protection Program funding opened in January and ends March 31. It made available $284 billion in forgivable loans for small businesses who meet certain employee and operational benchmarks.

The new administration has made major adjustments to the program’s implementation:

  • For businesses with fewer than 10 employees, the share of funding is up nearly 60 percent.
  • For businesses in rural communities, the share of funding is up nearly 30 percent.
  • The share of funding distributed through Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions is up more than 40 percent.

Beginning Feb. 24, the SBA opened PPP loan applications for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees. Each employee counts as one, regardless if full-time, part-time or seasonal. The 14-day exclusivity period runs through March 11.

Under the revised loan provisions which began March 1, 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.
  • 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 student loan payments by eliminating student loan debt delinquency as a disqualifier to participating in the PPP.
  • 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.

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