BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - President Joe Biden is making it easier for some small business owners to get COVID-related help from the government.
The president announced that a two-week long sign-up window will open Wednesday specifically for businesses with fewer than 20 employees.
They’ll be at the front of the line to apply for this round of the Paycheck Protection Program.
President Biden said small businesses are the backbone of our country, but when the Paycheck Protection Program started last year, many of those businesses were muscled out from getting that lifeline by bigger companies.
The loans are part of the $284 billion coronavirus aid bill that Congress approved in December.
$150 billion of that money is still available.
Some of the disqualifiers that prevented many businesses from getting approval have been lifted this time around.
Those with non-fraud felony convictions, those delinquent on student loan payments, and small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents but not citizens, will be able to apply.
“We’re trying to give the ‘little guys’ a chance…in the front of the line for a little while. That’s only fair and equitable,” said District Director for the Small Business Administration, Tom Todt.
“So, that will make a huge difference to them I think because they’re the ones…the really small companies…are the ones that suffered the most last time because they have maybe fewer cash reserves to operate on and things like that, so a lot of things work against them,” Todt said.
That two-week exclusive window is scheduled to open Wednesday.
For more information on how to apply, visit here.