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February 25, 2021

Lehman: Take advantage of PPP loans for small businesses

HBJ Photo | Steve Laschever Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner David Lehman

Have a small business and need a financial boost to survive the challenges caused by the pandemic?

On Monday, President Joe Biden announced changes to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s coronavirus relief programs aimed at helping small businesses.

The SBA this week established an exclusive Paycheck Protection Program loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees. The application period started Feb. 24 and lasts for two weeks.

David Lehman, commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development, urged Connecticut’s small businesses to “act quickly.”

According to Lehman, the program could provide minority-owned businesses, “mom and pop” businesses and small nonprofits much-needed support.

The two week period of exclusivity will give lenders and community partners more time to work with the smallest businesses to help them submit their applications, according to Lehman. 

Without a government extension, the PPP is set to expire March 31.

According to the SBA and Lehman’s office, additional changes mean the SBA will allow sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support. The funding formula is being revised so this group can use gross income as opposed to net income to calculate the PPP loan amount, increasing the potential loan size, according to Lehman.

Another change eliminates a restriction which prohibited small business owners with non-fraud felony convictions from accessing the program. Also, student loan debt delinquency will no longer be a disqualifier. 

Finally, the government is ensuring access to the program for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents. These individuals may use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for the PPP.

Visit the SBA’s website for more information, including guidance on finding a local lender.

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