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WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – President Joe Biden has said the nation’s smallest employers will be able to access the paycheck protection program first.
Biden announced the changes to the program on Monday. He says he hopes it will help small businesses, which might have missed out last time, stay in business.
“Not the ones with 500 employees, but those small businesses that, with a handful of people, make up 90% of American businesses,” Biden said.
Starting this Wednesday, businesses with fewer than 20 employees will have an exclusive two-week window to apply for PPP loans.
“A lot of these family businesses have been sidelined by bigger companies that have 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 about a lot more money at stake,” said Mark Jackson, owner of Blue Dolphin Engineering in Fresno, Calif.
He says the first round of PPP funding allowed him to keep his seven employees on staff.
“Protection of paychecks.” And that’s exactly what he did, ”Jackson said.
Jackson already secured his second round of PPP funding earlier this month, but he and Ann Rollins of the Poe Center for Health Education in Raleigh say Biden’s announcement is good 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 large companies that have already submitted their applications by Wednesday will not lose their place in the queue.
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