Paycheck Protection Program to Offer Exclusive Covid-19 Loan-Application Window for Smallest Firms

WASHINGTON—President Biden on Monday announced changes to the federal government’s signature coronavirus-relief program for small businesses, in a bid to improve access for very small companies and those owned by minorities or located in underserved communities.

As part of the changes, the Small Business Administration will accept applications for the Paycheck Protection Program exclusively from companies with fewer than 20 employees for 14 days starting Wednesday, Mr. Biden said.

The changes “will make sure we look out for the mom-and-pop businesses even more than we already have,” Mr. Biden said.

The PPP, which offers forgivable loans to small businesses to help them weather the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, reopened in January after being closed since August. The loans are issued by lenders and backed by the SBA.

PPP applicants with fewer than 20 employees will be able to apply exclusively from 9 a.m. ET on Wednesday until 5 p.m. ET on March 9, an administration official said.

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