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SBA closes Paycheck Protection Program

Published June 1, 2021

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — The Paycheck Protection Program closed Monday with the Small Business Administration providing nearly $800 billion in relief to 8.5 million small businesses and nonprofits affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible businesses with fewer than 500 employees could apply for forgivable loans beginning in April 2020. It was originally scheduled to end March 31 before a two-month extension was signed into law on the deadline. The last round of COVID-19 funding authorized $284 billion toward job retention and other expenses and allowed certain existing borrowers to apply for a second loan.

"I've heard story after story from small-business owners across the country about how PPP funds helped them keep the lights on, pay their employees — and gave them hope," said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman.

According to the SBA, 32% of the loans went to low- and moderate-income communities. Additionally, Community Financial Institutions provided 1.5 million loans totalling $30 billion to underserved communities in 2021. PPP loans in 2021 averaged $42,000, another indicator of targeted relief to the smallest small businesses, according to the SBA. In February, the SBA provided businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees an exclusive 14-day PPP loan application period.

The PPP was one of eight relief programs Congress established in the wake of the pandemic, including the low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loan.

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