Major PPP Changes Announced, Improved Access for the Smallest Businesses
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Posted: February 23, 2021 | By: LendVer Staff –

President Biden announced sweeping changes to the popular Paycheck Protection Program “PPP” yesterday, that will significantly increase funding access to the smallest businesses, and those businesses previously shut-out due to eligibility issues.

Numbers on the Rise

Sadly, since the start of the coronavirus pandemic over 400,000 small businesses have permanently shuttered. However, since the Biden-Harris administration has taken office, a number of important milestones have been achieved regarding improved access to relief capital for minority and undeserved businesses:

  • For businesses with fewer than ten employees, the share of funding is up nearly 60%
  • For businesses in rural communities, the share of funding is up nearly 30%
  • The share of funding distributed through Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions is up more than 40%

PPP Changes for the Smallest Businesses

Beginning this Wednesday, there will be an exclusive, two-week, PPP loan application period for businesses and non-profits with fewer than 20 employees.

Additionally, the following changes are planned to take effect by the first week in March (as reported on

  • Allow sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support by revising the PPP’s funding formula for these categories of applicants
  • Eliminate an exclusionary restriction on PPP access for small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions, consistent with a bipartisan congressional proposal
  • Eliminate PPP access restrictions on small business owners who have struggled to make federal student loan payments by eliminating federal student loan debt delinquency and default as disqualifiers to participating in the PPP; and
  • Ensure access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for the PPP

What These Changes Mean

These program changes will make it much easier for minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, and the smallest of businesses, to now qualify for, and receive Paycheck Protection Program financing. Additionally, many barriers that were previously in place that restricted financing to certain businesses and business owners, will now be removed (approval will still be subject to all other eligibility requirements):

  • If you are an independent contractor, a sole proprietor, you own a business and you are the only employee, or you own a business and have less than 20 employees, it will now be much easier for you to apply for, and receive a PPP loan
  • If you were previously ineligible for PPP financing because of your criminal background, you will now be eligible for PPP financing as long as your past conviction was not fraud related
  • If you have missed a payment or payments on your federally guaranteed student loan, and you were previously ineligible for a PPP loan for that reason, you will now be eligible for a PPP loan
  • If you were previously declined PPP financing because you are not a U.S. citizen, even though you are a lawful U.S. resident (i.e. a green card holder), you can now apply for, and receive PPP financing using your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

Where to Apply for a PPP Loan

Funding Circle is a direct, online business lender, and technology-enabled loan platform. Since its founding in 2010, Funding Circle has delivered over $12 billion to more than 90,000 small businesses globally. Funding Circle provides a variety of financing options to small business owners, but is presently focused on the Paycheck Protection Program “PPP”. Funding Circle is an SBA approved direct PPP lender, and utilizes cutting-edge technology to facilitate a fast and simple PPP application process.

Start your PPP loan application with Funding Circle

SmartBiz is a technology driven, small business financing platform that utilizes a streamlined application process and proprietary software to connect borrowers with a curated group of PPP lenders. SmartBiz specializes in PPP loans less than $50,000. Banks that subscribe to SmartBiz’s platform, utilize its technology to streamline the PPP loan application process, and quickly close loans for even the smallest of businesses.

Start your PPP loan application with SmartBiz


The recent Paycheck Protection Program changes announced by President Biden, and set to begin taking effect this Wednesday, will go a long way to putting more relief capital in the hands of the smallest businesses. Independent contractors, sole proprietors, minority-owned businesses, businesses with only one employee, business owners with a past default on student loan debt or a past non-fraud related crime, will now be able to access much needed financing.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have additional PPP related questions that you would like us to answer and add to this article. Please check out our PPP Round 2 Guide for more information.

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