Changes to Federal COVID PPP Loans Expand Eligibility To Even More Small Businesses

Heritage Bank, OCEAN Programs Community Partner

Businesses With 1 to 19 Employees Encouraged to Apply

If your small business is struggling due to COVID or you know someone whose business has been jeopardized by the pandemic, be sure to check out the latest changes to the Paycheck Protection Program, administered by the Small Business Administration. These loans may prove to be the shot in the arm needed to weather the next few months.

The Paycheck Protection Program was created by the federal government to help small businesses survive the pandemic so they can thrive during the recovery. Just days ago, new rules were announced to expand eligibility even wider and to encourage very small businesses and sole proprietors to apply.

What’s New

  • From now through March 10, PPP applications are restricted to companies with 1 to 19 employees to ensure these very small businesses are encouraged to learn more and apply. March 31 is the final date for all qualifying businesses to apply.
  • Student loan delinquency no longer disqualifies applicants.
  • In response to a bipartisan Congressional proposal, the SBA has agreed to consider applicants with prior non-fraud felony convictions.
  • Noncitizen legal residents of the U.S. can apply using their Tax Identification Numbers.
  • The formula for determining the amounts sole proprietors and other very small businesses qualify for has been adjusted. If you applied previously, you might reapply to determine if you are eligible for a larger loan.
  • Businesses with 20 or more employees are encouraged to contact a lender now to start the internal review process and ensure their applications are ready to submit when the window reopens.

Loans Up To $150,000 Forgivable

Assuming PPP loans are spent as intended (at least 60 percent on payroll expenses and the remainder on eligible business expenses), up to $150,000 is forgivable. PPP recipients will need to apply for forgiveness online, supplying documentation of their expenses. Amounts above the forgivable limit or loan funds spent on unqualified expenses will incur 1% interest.

2020 PPP Borrowers May Qualify for More

If your business received a PPP loan in 2020, you may be eligible for a second PPP loan. Learn more at www.SBA.gov or at www.OurHeritage.bank.

To learn if you qualify, contact a lender or feel free to contact Heritage Bank. Heritage Bank is processing loans for businesses who are current customers as well as for businesses without a prior relationship.

Get the Word Out

Although we are in the third round of PPP funding, many small businesses and sole proprietors are still unaware of the program or unclear of how to apply. Help get the word out to the small businesses who support your business, who use your products, or who just make your neighborhood a better place to live. We all know very small for-profit and nonprofit businesses and independent contractors. Make sure they know PPP loans are created for them and how to contact someone willing to help. If these businesses were shut out or ineligible in 2020, encourage them to revisit their options. Heritage Bank is here to help, whether businesses bank with us or not.

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