PPP returns, giving a 'crucial' lifeline to small, underserved Houston businesses
The Paycheck Protection Program, a federal stimulus meant to keep small businesses afloat during the pandemic, came back online Monday at 8 a.m. Businesses that received the low-interest, forgivable loans from the first iteration of the program in 2020 will soon be able to apply for a second, and restaurants and hotels will soon be able to qualify for larger loans proportional to their payroll costs.
The program is open to businesses with 500 or fewer employees, which are eligible for first-draw loans of up to $10 million, while second-draw loans are limited to businesses with 300 or fewer employees and capped at $2 million. For their second-draw loans, restaurants and hotels can receive as much as 3.5 times their average monthly payroll, while all other loans are limited to 2.5 times. The funding is part of a second, $284 billion, relief bill signed into law last month.
This time, following criticism that the first round of the program served disproportionately few minority-owned businesses, it began a little differently. It rolled out first with community institutions, which tend to have stronger relationships with minority communities.
“For smaller businesses, first-time applicants, community institutions and minority businesses, this round of funding is designed to correct the issues of the first round of PPP funding,” she said. “While it still may not be perfect, seize this opportunity to get funding.”