Image: Sora Shimazaki 

Secretary of State Michael Watson is detailing new changes to the national Paycheck Protection Program that may benefit local small businesses.

President Joe Biden recently announced several changes to these United States Small Business Administration (SBA) coronavirus relief programs. 

Secretary Watson’s email, verbatim, said:

Revisions to the Interim Final Rule consolidate previous guidelines related to the forgiveness and reviews of PPP loans and incorporate changes made by the Economic Aid Act. Additionally, the American Rescue Plan Act was expanded on March 11, 2021, to widen eligibility for first and second draw loans and revise exclusions from payroll costs for the purpose of loan forgiveness. Both updates allow lenders and community partners more time to work with the smallest businesses to submit their applications. It also ensures larger PPP-eligible businesses can apply for and receive support before the program expires on March 31, 2021.

In addition to the updates listed above, SBA will also:

  • 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; and
  • Ensure access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for the PPP.

Borrowers can apply by downloading the First Draw PPP Loan Application or Second Draw PPP Loan Application and working with a participating PPP lender through the SBA Lender Match Tool.

For more information regarding the Paycheck Protection Program, contact your local SBA office.