Politics

President Biden announces temporary changes to PPP small business loans qualifications

President Joe Biden announced Monday that he plans on changing the PPP qualifications for two weeks, allowing only businesses with fewer than 20 employees to receive loans.

On Monday, Biden Administration officials announced that starting Wednesday, only businesses with fewer than 20 employees could apply to receive paycheck protection loans, in an effort to cut down on larger businesses taking advantage of the program. The Paycheck Protection Program, which was utilized by the Trump Administration in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, did in fact help bring the unemployment rate down by the end of this past summer. However, many smaller businesses did not benefit from the program as much as others. This new round of the Paycheck Protection Program, which was relaunched in January, reportedly has around $150 billion left over.

The Biden Administration has said they look to offer help to minority-owned businesses who had not been helped in the previous rounds of PPP. According to Business Insider, “The changes are designed to make it easier for businesses with no employees — sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed people such as house cleaners and personal care providers — that previously could not qualify because of business cost deductions”. With these new changes, the Biden Administration is setting aside $1 billion for sole-proprietors and businesses with no employees in minority/low-income communities.

In addition, the SBA has announced that green-card holders and non U.S. citizens will not be excluded from this round of PPP. His team has also made it clear that business owners who are behind on their student loans would not be excluded, either. As it stands, felonies and individuals with a criminal record do not qualify for PPP. Biden has not been clear as to his procedure in regards to these individuals, but he did say he will work with congress to reach a bipartisan resolution that would extend relief to criminals under certain circumstances. The Treasury Department has also changed the rules for independent contractors and self employed recipients.

Many received little to no money in the first rounds, and these new guidelines are in place to increase payouts for those that qualify. It is unknown whether or not the Biden team will extend the PPP roll-out past the current end date of March 31. Supporters of the PPP, such as Senator Marco Rubio, have been an advocate for the program since April of last year, according to the Washington Post. Rubio has been outspoken about his feelings toward this round of the program, urging the Biden Administration to, “work with Republicans and Democrats in Congress as it considers changes to this incredibly successful and overwhelmingly bipartisan program”.

ARTICLE: ETHAN FINN

POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: THE WASHINGTON POST

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