According to Unidos US, only 8% of Black-owned businesses received the aid they requested in the first round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. At the same time, many large companies were able to apply and secure PPP loans, even though they had the financial means to stay afloat. As a result, the Small Business Administration (SBA) made changes, including opening an exclusive 14-day PPP loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees. To further ensure equity in PPP loan disbursement, the Biden administration made additional changes to the program, including:
- Allowing sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed people to receive a PPP loan.
- Eliminating the restriction on PPP access for small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions.
- Eliminating student loan debt delinquency as a disqualifier for participating in PPP.
- Ensuring access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by allowing those proprietors to use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for PPP.
- Allowing applicants to use their gross income instead of net income from Schedule C to calculate their maximum loan amount.
The last change may be the most important change. Since most small businesses record very little, if any, profit, allowing them to use gross income instead of net income opens the door for larger loans to self-employed individuals.
The decision to open the second round of PPP loans to small business owners of 20 or fewer employees is a good decision; as small business owners are the backbone of America. These changes will have a positive impact on small business owners,” says Phil Andrews, President, Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce, Inc. (www.liaacc.org) – New York State’s largest African American Chamber and New York District Office of the United States of America 2019 Small Business Champion for 14 counties in Downstate, New York.
The changes were announced these changes to help American small businesses this time around, especially business owners of color. These changes will expand the number of business owners eligible for PPP and thus reach many more that couldn’t get funding in the first round. But there is still a lot of work to be done.
“USBC’s stance is that while the provisions are a victory for the Black-owned businesses community, these reforms should have been rolled out last year when the program first opened. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, 41% of Black-owned small businesses closed between February and April 2020, compared to 17% of White-owned small businesses. Lawmakers and regulators must work to provide support for Black-owned businesses that closed in this three-month period,” says Ron Busby, President and CEO, US Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC)
Busby also notes that USBC (www.usblackchambers.org) is urging the federal government to create more support programs that are not focused on payroll because over 90 percent of Black business owners are sole proprietors and single employer firms.
The exclusive PPP application period for businesses with 20 or fewer employees opens ends March 9, 2021. However, deadline for all PPP applications is March 31, 2021. To apply, click here.
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