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Joe Biden COVID-19 response: Administration make changes in PPP loans to reach minority-owned small businesses
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected many Americans not only in terms of health but also financially. As businesses struggle to stay afloat at this time, President Joe Biden’s administration announced changes in eligibility of PPP loans.
Biden administration officials announced that there will be revisions made to the main COVID-19 aid program that will be aimed at small businesses owned by people or communities of color. For two weeks, the Small Business Administration will be accepting applications for forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans for companies that have less than 20 employees so as to ensure that they are not overcrowded by larger firms. The revisions come as small business bankers say that the demand for PPP loans is slowing down as the companies begin reopening.
Administration officials also noted that there are still many small businesses owned by minorities in low-income areas that have yet to receive federal aid. These recent changes seek to make it easier for companies with no employees - meaning sole proprietors, self-employed, and independent contractors - that could not qualify for aid due to business cost reductions.
The SBA will make changes in the rules to match with the approach that was used to allow farmers and ranchers to receive federal aid. The program will allocate $1 billion for businesses without employees in low-income and moderate-income areas, 70 percent of businesses in these areas are owned by people of color.
As well, the SBA will also include new guidance to assure that legal US residents who are not citizens like green-card holders will not be excluded from the program. The Biden administration will also eliminate exclusions that will restrict a business owner who still has student loans from availing of the program.
This week, Biden, first lady Dr. Jill Biden, vice president Kamala Harris, and second gentleman Doug Emhoff all participated in a candle vigil ceremony at the White House to mark the 500,000 deaths from the coronavirus. Biden addressed the nation, once again urging the country to unite in order to fight the pandemic.
“I ask all Americans to remember those we lost and those we left behind. But as we all remember, I also ask us to act, to remain vigilant, to stay socially distanced, to mask up, get vaccinated when it’s your turn,” said Biden.