The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will be focusing its efforts on providing equitable relief for small businesses around the nation, with a focus on racial and gender equity.
As part of this effort, the SBA will be establishing an exclusive Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees. All employees, whether full-time, part-time or seasonal will count toward this employee number.
According to the SBA, the exclusive loan period will enable sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed individuals to gain greater access to PPP funding.
The loan period will begin Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 8 a.m. CST.
The SBA has eliminated a restriction with prior non-fraud felony convictions and restrictions on owners who have struggled with federal student loan payments. Small business owners will be able to use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for the funding.
The federal agency announced that in the past month, PPP funding has increased approximately 60 percent for businesses with fewer than 10 employees. Rural businesses have seen their funding rise by 30 percent.
In addition, Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions have seen a 40 percent increase in funding distributed through their channels.