Updated: Feb 25, 2021
The U.S. Small Business Administration said it is taking steps with the new round of Paycheck Protection Program to further promote equitable relief for America’s mom-and-pop businesses.
“The SBA is a frontline agency working to create an inclusive economy, focused on reaching women-owned, minority-owned, low- and moderate-income, rural, and other underserved communities in meaningful ways," SBA Senior Advisor Michael Roth said.
According to a press release from the governor's office on Guam, local small businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees can avail of an exclusive PPP loan application period from Feb. 24 to March 10.
“Our small businesses were among the most affected by this pandemic, and we welcome any policy or initiative that gives these business owners additional assistance. My administration will continue to do whatever we can to support our entrepreneurs, and I encourage all qualified small business owners and nonprofits to apply,” said Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero.
“In addition to this loan application period, the Biden-Harris Administration will be making more changes to the PPP program to allow for more underserved small businesses to qualify. Once these changes are implemented, Governor Leon Guerrero and I will work with SBA and our community partners to deliver these funds to those who need it the most,” added Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio.
Larger PPP-eligible businesses may still apply for and receive support before the program expires on March 31, 2021.
During the first round of PPP last year, 2,208 small businesses on Guam were approved for the program and SBA granted a total of $192 million in loans.
Guam had about 3,566 small establishments in 2020, compared to 3,493 in 2019
and 3,466 in 2018, according to U.S. Small Business Administration of Advocacy.
"Due to the impact of the current pandemic, many businesses of all sizes already had to make the difficult decision of closing down their businesses, several of which are small businesses," according to the 2020 Economic Report released last month by the University of Guam's School of Business Administration.
The PPP was established by the CARES Act to provide small businesses with funds to cover payroll costs during the pandemic and to pay interest on mortgages, rent and utilities.
The fresh funding for PPP opened last month with new guidelines.
For businesses with fewer than 10 employees, the share of funding is up nearly 60 percent.
For businesses in rural communities, the share of funding is up nearly 30 percent
The share of funding distributed through Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions is up more than 40 percent.
"While reported data illustrates we have made real strides in ensuring these funds are reaching underserved communities, we believe we can still do better,” Roth said.
“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,” he added.
SBA said the program demonstrates "the commitment to racial and gender equity, reaching low and moderate-income, rural, urban, and other underserved areas."
The SBA said the new guidelines will:
Establish a 14-day, exclusive PPP loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees
Allow 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
Eliminate an exclusionary restriction on PPP access for small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions, consistent with a bipartisan congressional proposal
Eliminate 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; and
Ensure access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use individual taxpayer identification number to apply for the PPP.
These actions will help to lay the foundation for a robust and equitable recovery for small businesses across the country. Small businesses employ nearly half of the American workforce; they create two out of three net new private-sector jobs; they reinvest 68 percent of revenues to build and sustain communities.