Biden offers small businesses special PPP application window, assistance

The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden is attempting to steer more Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding to America’s small businesses.

In a 22 February announcement, the White House said it will open a special 14-day period, beginning Wednesday, 24 February, during which time only businesses with fewer than 20 employees may apply for PPP relief.

“The 14-day exclusive application period will allow lenders to focus on serving these smallest businesses. The Biden-Harris administration will also make a sustained effort to work with lenders and small business owners to ensure small businesses take maximum advantage of this two-week window,” it said in a press release.

Additionally, the White House said it will steer more resources to help sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals receive more financial support, and eliminate a restriction that prevents small-business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions and those delinquent on their federal student loans from obtaining PPP relief. The changes also include a widening of access to the PPP program to ensure access non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents can use individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITINs) to apply for relief. 

The reforms will enable more small businesses – especially minority-owned businesses – struggling with the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to obtain financial relief, the White House said.

“While these efforts are no substitute for passage of the American Rescue Plan, they will extend much-needed resources to help small businesses survive, reopen, and rebuild,” the White House said, referring to a USD 1.9 trillion (EUR 1.6 trillion) COVID-19 relief package being advanced by Biden and congressional Democrats.

“We’re pleased to see businesses getting the help they need to speed the recovery, including small family-owned ones like you see throughout the seafood value chain,” National Fisheries Institute Vice President of Communications Gavin Gibbons told SeafoodSource in an email.

Photo courtesy of The White House


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