SBA prioritizes more rural businesses in Paycheck Protection Program

SBA prioritizes more rural businesses in Paycheck Protection Program

WASHINGTON D.C. – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is taking steps with the Paycheck Protection Program to further promote the Paycheck Protection Program for America’s mom-and-pop businesses. 

The latest round of program funding opened one month ago and the SBA is boasting it the program is providing more help to businesses with fewer than ten employees. The share of funding is up nearly 60 percent for the group, the agency said.

For businesses in rural communities, the share of funding is up nearly 30 percent.

The share of funding distributed through Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions is up more than 40 percent.

“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,” SBA Senior Advisor Michael Roth said. “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.”  

The SBA announced it will:

  • 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 disqualifiers 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 Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for the PPP. 

The 14-day exclusivity period started Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 9 a.m., while the other four changes will be implemented by the first week of March.  

Updated PPP information, including forms, guidance, and resources is available at and

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