Durham, North Carolina –President Joe Biden on Monday unveiled new changes to the PayCheck protection program.
- Starting Wednesday, a two-week application period begins for companies with less than 20 employees.
- Self-employed workers and independent contractors can now qualify for more money.
- And business owners with delinquent student loans or criminal records unrelated to fraud will now be eligible for loans.
Every penny counts right now for small businesses trying to survive the pandemic. The mom and pop store owners WRAL spoke to said the first round of PPP didn’t include everyone in the equation. They hope the new changes will put them back on top.
The theme for this past year has been rotate, adapt and repeat for restaurants and convenience stores.
“It has been difficult because we don’t have as many customers as we would like,” said Fasil Tesfaye, owner of Goorsha in Durham.
For Bull City Running Company, which was about to open a second site just before the pandemic, PPP loans have become critical.
“One of the big frustrations of this first round of PPP is that it seemed like a lot of big companies got this money up front. That left a lot of us out, ”said Kim Chapman, owner of Bull City Running Company.
Chapman said the funds she was ultimately eligible for allowed her to keep employees on the payroll and prepare to staff the new downtown Durham location that was already under construction.
“For the current administration, focusing on real small businesses – I’m thinking of 20 people or less, which is exactly Bull City Running – it’s going to give a lot of us a lifeline that we wouldn’t have. otherwise, ”Chapman added. .
“As a new business owner and investing a lot of my own funds into building a salon, the funds would certainly have helped,” said Salicia Nash, owner of Queendom Hair Salon.
The owner of Cary’s brand new hair salon was disappointed that she hadn’t been able to receive PPP on the first or second go-around. She is delighted that the latest update prioritizes independent contractors and self-employed workers.
“It’s a great feeling, considering it’s been a year, and we’ve been kind of invisible to PPP loans and everything that has been given to other small businesses,” he said. she adds.
The Biden administration’s program will set aside $ 1 billion for these companies. It creates a 14 day window for lenders to focus exclusively on their needs.
“God forbid if anything happens, or if we are closed again, it will assure my staff that I have it all covered and that we have the support we need,” Nash said.
The 14-day application period begins Wednesday, February 24. Visit, https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program to apply.