PPP to offer exclusive COVID-19 application window for smallest firms

The federal government’s signature coronavirus-relief program for small businesses will accept applications exclusively from companies with fewer than 20 employees for 14 days starting Wednesday, President Joe Biden will announce today, according to administration officials.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, the officials say the exclusive application window is one of several steps the Small Business Administration and other federal agencies will take to improve access to the Paycheck Protection Program for very small companies and those owned by minorities or located in underserved communities.

The PPP, which offers forgivable loans to small businesses to help them weather the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, reopened in January after being closed since August. The loans are issued by lenders and backed by the SBA. 

PPP applicants with fewer than 20 employees will be able to apply exclusively from 8 a.m. Central time on Wednesday until 4 p.m. on March 9, an administration official says.

The program overall is slated to end March 31.

The exclusive window will “give lenders and community partners more time to work with these Main Street businesses that anchor our neighborhoods and help families build wealth, while also ensuring larger PPP-eligible businesses will still have plenty of time over three weeks to apply for and receive support before the program expires,” the official says. Read the full story.