Biden Makes Changes to the US Paycheck Protection Program to Prioritize Small Businesses

Paycheck Protection Program

Adds clarity on the eligibility of noncitizens who hold Green Cards or work visas

The Biden administration announced adjustments to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP2) designed to target loans for small businesses and expand access to aid.

The changes will prioritize loans for the country’s smallest businesses, eliminate some previous eligibility restrictions on small business owners, boost support for independent contractors and self-employed workers and take “steps to ensure equitable distribution of relief.”

Here’s an overview:

▪ Prioritizing the smallest businesses: Starting Wednesday (February 24), the administration will institute a two-week period during which only companies with fewer than 20 employees can apply for loans through the PPP to “allow lenders to focus on serving these smallest businesses.”

▪ Support for self-employed workers, independent contractors, and sole proprietors: The changes include revising the calculation of loans to offer more relief and reserve $1 billion to aid these businesses. Previously, firms in these categories were “structurally excluded from the PPP” due to how loans were calculated, the White House says.

▪ Removing restrictions for prior felony convictions: Biden will eliminate restrictions that prevent businesses owned at least 20% by a person with a felony conviction within the past year from receiving loans.

▪ Removing restrictions related to student loans: Businesses owned at least 20% by a person who is “currently delinquent or has defaulted within the last seven years” on student debt and other federal loans are not currently eligible for the PPP. The SBA will eliminate that restriction.

▪ Access for noncitizens: The SBA will issue guidance making it clear that applicants cannot be denied PPP loans because they use Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) to pay taxes. “The PPP statute is clear that all lawful US residents may access the program, but a lack of guidance from the SBA has created inconsistency in access for ITIN holders like Green Card holders or those here on a visa,” the White House says.

If you have any questions or need help, please email Allan RooneyTim DavisElannie Damianos, or Abbey Docherty or call +1 212 545 8022.

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 This article is one of a series intended to de-mystify common legal issues for the non-lawyer and entrepreneur audience – they are designed to foster discussion and is by no means exhaustive. These materials are for informational purposes only. Nothing herein is intended nor should be regarded as legal advice. The distribution of this article to any person does not establish an attorney-client relationship with our firm. Rooney Nimmo assumes no liability in connection with the use of this publication. This bulletin is considered attorney advertising under the applicable rules of New York state. Rooney Nimmo UK is regulated by the Law Society of Scotland and Rooney Nimmo US by the New York rules of professional conduct. All attorneys and solicitors listed in this firm stipulate their jurisdictional limitations. Rooney Nimmo in the USA is a law firm registered as a New York State professional corporation.

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