What's this, actual help for the middle class and small businesses? A president who follows through on his promise to not allow the small fish to get swallowed up by the big fish when it comes to COVID relief? Apparently Joe Biden is putting the government's money where his mouth is, and implementing meaningful changes to the Paycheck Protection Plan ("PPP") to give small businesses real access to the loans to help them make it through the pandemic-induced economic crisis.
According to Inc.com, starting today (Feb. 24th), businesses with 20 employees or fewer will have a two-week exclusivity period in which to apply for PPP loans. Pres. Biden is also changing the loan amount formula for these small businesses, making the amount for which they're eligible larger. "The SBA is further setting aside $1 billion for those types of businesses in low-to-moderate income communities," according to the article.
People with non-fraud felony convictions can now apply. People who have defaulted on student debt are also now eligible. Immigrants who are residing in the U.S. legally can apply. It's almost as if the Biden/Harris administration actually WANTS to help people who are struggling economically, regardless of skin tone or financial status!
Brian Deese, head of the National Economic Council, explained the changes to MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle Wednesday morning. Ruhle mentioned the former guy's roll-out, which managed to funnel tons of loans to huge, profitable companies who did not need them, leaving very little if any for the smaller business owners. Deese noted the tragedy of the 400,000 small businesses lost already, but spoke directly to the ones watching, and said, "for the next two weeks starting today, we're going to have an exclusivity period where businesses with less than 20 employees are the only type of businesses that can apply. And there's a significant still outstanding resources available for those businesses."
He emphasized that this is extremely important for the communities that have been hardest hit, mentioning specifically Black- and brown-owned businesses. "You know, 90%-plus of Black and brown businesses in the U.S. are actually single employer -- single employee firms. So we're doing a lot of outreach to try to make sure that people know that this is a resource that's available," said Deese.
He insisted, "There still lending available here, and we're going to keep making that case between now and the end of March when the program expires."
Here's hoping the message gets out, and the right people get the help they need to keep their small businesses running.