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Washington, D.C. – The latest round of Paycheck Protection Program Funding began one month ago and the U.S. Small Business Administration is continually working to improve the program and promote equitable relief for "mom and pop" style businesses.

According to the SBA, in the most recent round:

  • For businesses with fewer than ten 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%

“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.”

As it continues to improve the program, the SBA plans to:

  • 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 disqualifies 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

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 is working on the program changes and will release additional details throughout this week.

Small businesses employ nearly half of the American workforce; create two out of three net new private-sector jobs; and reinvest 68% of their revenues to build and sustain their communities.

To apply for the Paycheck Protection Program, download the First Draw PPP loan application or Second Draw PPP loan application and work with a participating PPP lender. Lenders may be located through the SBA Lender Match tool.

The SBA will continue working closely with its district offices and the Biden-Harris Administration to expand its network of partners and outreach.

Updated PPP information, including forms, guidance, and resources is available at sba.gov/ppp and treasury.gov/cares.

This story was compiled by an NCPA staff reporter from submitted news. To see a list of our editorial staff please visit our staff directory.