Smaller businesses get first shot at PPP loans under new rules


(WSYR-TV) — Starting Wednesday, the nation’s smallest employers will get the first shot at the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

In an exclusive 2-week window, businesses with fewer than 20 employees can apply for PPP loans. Self-employed workers and independent contractors are also eligible under the new rules.

The other new rules include:

  • Eliminate an exclusionary restriction on PPP access for small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions, consistent with a bipartisan congressional proposal; 
  • Eliminate PPP access restrictions on small business owners who have struggled to make student loan payments by eliminating student loan debt delinquency as a disqualifier to participating in the PPP; and
  • Ensure access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for the PPP.

This exclusive period will give lenders and community partners more time to work with the smallest businesses to submit their applications, while also ensuring that larger PPP-eligible businesses will still have plenty of time to apply for and receive support before the program expires on March 31, 2021.

The owner and manager of Cugini Italian Cafe & Market said that they plan to enroll in the program within the next two weeks. There are seven people working at the small local business, and the money that they can get from this loan will help the cafe run.

“Big corporations still have the money to put out the advertising and the things like that or even offer low price specials,” said Michele Cramer, Manager of Cugini Italian Cafe & Market. “We are not able to do that right now so just being able to maintain where we are at is the most.”

Small businesses that have already received funds can’t revise their loan amounts under the new rules. Larger businesses that already submitted applications will not lose their place in line.

Learn more about the PPP program and how to apply by clicking here to be linked to

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