President Joe Biden announced changes to the Paycheck Protection Program that will give advantages to small businesses with 20 employees or fewer, putting them at the front of the line to get federal aid.
Biden announced that small businesses with fewer than 20 employees will have an exclusive opportunity over the next two weeks to apply for aid before larger companies can apply. The program will also cancel a provision in the program that barred people with criminal records from applying for aid, except in the cases of people convicted of fraud or theft.
To help these businesses apply, the Small Business Administration has set up additional assistance phone lines to help small business owners apply directly. Other funding will be directed through community banks to inject the funds directly into neighborhoods. Some of the aid will be forgivable under certain circumstances.
The Biden plan would also assign funds to help rural businesses that may be challenged due to the pandemic. Biden noted that small business with fewer employees are the backbones of communities, sponsoring little league teams and assisting in community fundraising projects.