The U.S. Small Business Administration are taking steps with the Paycheck Protection Program to further promote equitable relief for America’s “mom-and-pop” businesses.

“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,” said SBA Senior Advisor Michael Roth. “While reported data illustrates we have made real strides in ensuring these funds are reaching underserved communities, we believe we can still do better. 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 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.
  • 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 on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 9 a.m., while the other four changes will be implemented by the first week of March. The SBA is working on the program changes and will communicate details throughout this week.

With many companies in the industry considered small business, SIA CEO Don Erickson says the Paycheck Protection Program has been a “critical lifeline” for security businesses since the early stages of the pandemic. 

“SIA is completely supportive of the Biden administration’s recent decision to create an exclusive targeted application window for small businesses with fewer than 20 employees,” Erickson said. “For security businesses of this size, this unique application period provided them with dedicated attention from lenders and the SBA to ensure that their applications are processed loans processed as soon as possible. Despite this positive aspect of the PPP, one thing has not changed – security businesses should pay careful attention to loan terms, be mindful of the potential of an audit and not assume that loans will be forgiven. Security businesses should not apply for PPP funds believing this is a federal grant that does not have to be repaid.”