Feb 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden to temporarily target PPP loans to smallest businesses

Isabel Guzman

Biden's nominee for small business administrator, Isabel Guzman. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Biden administration will temporarily prevent big businesses from applying for loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, restricting applications to businesses with fewer than 20 employees, according to administration officials.

Why it matters: The White House wants to target small businesses and ensure that they are not shut out of the application process, as some were during the first round of the program last spring.

  • On Wednesday, a two-week window will open, where only business under the 20 employee threshold will be allowed to apply.
  • The administration wants to ensure that small businesses, which account for 44% of GDP and employ roughly half of America's workers, have ample time to work with their banks and apply for loans and keep their businesses afloat.
  • The administration will also change some eligibility requirements, concerning applicants with felony records, outstanding student loans and uncertain citizenship status.

By the numbers: In the $900 billion relief package signed by President Trump in January, the Small Business Administration received an additional $284 billion to allocate to businesses.

  • Some $134 billion of that pot of money has already been obligated.
  • Since the first relief packages were passed last year, Congress has authorized $806 billion.
  • In his American Rescue Plan, Biden is proposing an additional $7 billion.
  • Applications for latest round of funding closes at the end of March.
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