Senate passes bill to extend PPP loans

March 26, 2021

Mark Schremmer

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Last month, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced some changes to its Paycheck Protection Program in hopes of making it easier for sole proprietors and independent contractors to receive an adequate loan amount. Now, it appears those individuals may actually have the time to take advantage of the changes.

The Senate on Thursday, March 26, voted 92-7 to extend the program’s deadline from March 31 until May 31. President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill, which also would give the SBA until June 30 to process loans, into law soon.

In February, the SBA announced some changes to the program.

Those changes to the PPP included:

  • Establishing a 14-day, exclusive PPP loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees.
  • Allowing sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support by revising the PPP’s funding formula for these categories of applicants.
  • Eliminating an exclusionary restriction on PPP access for small-business owners with prior nonfraud felony convictions, consistent with a bipartisan congressional proposal.
  • Eliminating PPP access restrictions on small-business owners who have struggled to make federal student loan payments by eliminating federal student loan debt delinquency and default as disqualifiers to participating in the PPP.
  • Ensuring access for noncitizen small-business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use an individual taxpayer identification number to apply for the PPP.

“The important policy changes we are announcing further ensure inclusivity and integrity by increasing access and much-needed aid to Main Street businesses that anchor our neighborhoods and help families build wealth,” SBA senior adviser Michael Roth said in a news release.

Before the changes, many sole proprietors and independent contractors were “structurally excluded” from the PPP because of how the loans were calculated. The White House referenced instances of businesses being approved for loans as little as $1. LL

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Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.