The U.S. Small Business Administration is taking steps to improve the Paycheck Protection Program so more small businesses can access funds and to increase equitable access to underserved small businesses.
SBA officials said they are following through on their commitment to take additional steps toward improving the speed to resolve data mismatches and eligibility concerns so small businesses have as much time as possible to access much-needed PPP funds, while maintaining the integrity of the program. Three important changes will:
- Enable lenders to directly certify eligibility of borrowers for first draw and second draw loan applications with validation errors to ensure businesses who need funds and are eligible receive them as quickly as possible;
- Allow lenders to upload supporting documentation of borrowers with validation errors during the forgiveness process;
- Create additional communication channels with lenders to assure the SBA is constantly improving equity, speed and integrity of the program, including an immediate national lender call to brief them on the platform’s added capabilities.
SBA Senior Advisor to the Administrator Michael Roth said the SBA is happy the program has been able to target the smallest of small businesses.
“The SBA has achieved another major milestone to provide critical recovery capital to America’s small businesses by approving 1.3 million PPP loans totaling $104 billion in the current round,” he said. “While we are excited that we are doing a better job of reaching the hardest-hit industries and communities, we are committed to taking additional steps to ensure that there is equitable access for underserved businesses and that we are leading with empathy to support small businesses in a difficult spot.”
This week, the SBA said it hit a major milestone of approving $103 billion of PPP funds to more than 1.4 million small businesses. The SBA said it is:
- Reaching more of the smallest businesses; 82% of all loans are going to businesses requesting less than $100,000;
- Reaching rural communities in a meaningful way; 28% of businesses that have received funding this round are in rural communities;
- Increasing partnerships with Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions that are trusted agents in extending economic relief to minority communities and underserved populations.