WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — President Joe Biden says the country’s smallest employers will be able to access the Paycheck Protection Program first.
Biden announced the changes to the program Monday. He says he hopes this will help smaller companies, who might have missed out last time, stay in business.
“Not the ones with 500 employees, but these small businesses that with a handful of folks, they are 90% of the businesses in America,” Biden said.
Starting this Wednesday, businesses with fewer than 20 employees will have a two-week, exclusive window to apply for PPP loans.
“A lot of these mom-and-pop businesses got muscled out of the way by bigger companies who jumped in front of the line,” Biden said.
Biden says self-employed workers and independent contractors will now also be eligible for loans.
“So there is more money — we are talking a lot more money at stake,” said Mark Jackson, owner of Blue Dolphin Engineering in Fresno, California.
He says the first round of PPP funding allowed him to keep his seven employees on staff.
“Paycheck protection. And that is exactly what it did,” Jackson said.
Jackson already got his second round of PPP funding earlier this month, but he and Ann Rollins at the Poe Center for Health Education in Raleigh say Biden’s announcement is welcome news for companies with only a few employees.
“Because they are the most needy,” Rollins said.
Small businesses that have already received PPP funds will not be able to revise their loan amounts under the new rules. The Biden administration says larger businesses that have already submitted their applications prior to Wednesday will not lose their place in line.