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The Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act has just made the PPP forgivable loan program available until May 31, giving small businesses, nonprofits, and independent contractors another six weeks to access economic relief via the Paycheck Protection Program. Changes made in February and March also lowered several key barriers to entry and widened eligibility for more equitable access.
- Sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals now have more flexibility to calculate their PPP loan amounts, making many of them eligible for the first time, or making them eligible for larger loan amounts.
- Returning citizens with prior non-financial fraud felony convictions can now access the PPP, with some exceptions.
- Those who have struggled to make and are now delinquent on federal student loan payments may now apply for the PPP.
- Immigrant small business owners who lawfully reside and pay taxes in the U.S. may use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for the PPP.
As a result, demand has been steady, though funds are still available. While many businesses with fewer than 20 employees were able to take advantage of an exclusive PPP application period which ended March 9, there is still a compelling need to reach these smaller businesses. Small businesses without employees make up a significant majority of all businesses in the U.S. and include cleaning services, home repair contractors, personal care businesses, and small independent retailers, among other examples. About 70% of these firms are owned by women and people of color, compared to 40% of employer firms. In addition, 95% of Black-owned firms and 91% of Latinx-owned firms do not have employees.
The SBA has been working in partnership with PPP participating lenders to deliver forgiveable PPP loans to businesses like these so they can remain viable pillars of our communities. During the first month of the 2021 PPP re-opening, the funding share grew nearly 60% for businesses with fewer than 10 employees, and for businesses in rural communities the funding share grew nearly 30%. As of April 11, nearly 78,000 Wisconsin small businesses and nonprofits have received PPP loans totaling more than $3.9 billion this year—and the average size of a PPP loan in Wisconsin has dropped from $110,000 in 2020 to just over $50,000 in 2021. Nationally, the average loan is $53,000 and that has declined by more than $34,000 since January.
While these numbers and the latest PPP statistics show that the SBA is moving in the right direction, I want every Wisconsin entity that may be eligible for the PPP to have the necessary information and support to apply during this extended period and before the program’s close on May 31, 2021.
The SBA has issued updated instructions for these newly eligible groups on how to calculate loan amounts and provide the right documentation. Business owners should contact their lender as soon as possible to submit a PPP loan application. A few tips for success:
- Review the guidance and gather needed documents and talk to your lender as soon as possible, as the lender has to have your application into the SBA by May 31.
- To find a lender, use SBA’s LenderMatch platform to share your information with interested lenders or locate a lender near you using sba.gov/paycheckprotection/find.
- For assistance and questions about applying, contact one of SBA’s 26 Wisconsin resource partner offices, including SCORE, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and the Veterans Business Outreach Center. Visit sba.gov/localassistance to find and connect with an advisor near you.
- Contact SBA’s Wisconsin office at email@example.com.
SBA’s Wisconsin staff and our partners around the state want you and your business to get the help you need to recover from the effects of the pandemic. I hope you will take advantage of these resources. For more information on the Paycheck Protection Program, visit www.sba.gov/ppp.