For some of the smallest businesses that applied for forgivable loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, waiting just a few days or weeks would’ve gotten them thousands of dollars more.
But they had no way of knowing what was coming.
The Biden administration in late February announced a slew of changes to the loan program, which offered forgivable loans in return for keeping employees on a company’s payroll, after it reopened in January with $284 billion in funding. Those amendments included an adjusted loan formula that would mean larger amounts for sole proprietors as well as expanded eligibility for small business owners with certain criminal records, were delinquent on student loan debt or were non-citizens.
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In addition, a priority application window was announced for businesses with fewer than 20 employees from Feb. 24 through March 9, assuring money would reach those that had difficulty accessing the program, including women and minority-led businesses.
However, the timing of that priority window was misaligned with the other changes, which didn’t go into effect until the first week of March, just weeks before the program’s deadline at the end of this month.
Sole proprietors had to wait even longer for the new loan formula.