Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04) announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration will begin accepting Paycheck Protection Program applications from small businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees. This two-week, special-application period will ensure that federal assistance is prioritized for the businesses and nonprofits that are most in need.

The Paycheck Protection Program provides loans to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. These loans may be forgivable, and they are administered by local lenders. This special-application period is intended to provide lenders and community partners with additional opportunities to assist the smallest businesses with their applications.

“It's critically important that federal assistance programs, such as the Paycheck Protection Program, are readily available to mom-and-pop businesses,” said Congressman Himes.  “Small businesses, which employ over 700,000 Connecticut residents, are vital to our local economy. That's why I supported a $15 billion set-aside for these low- and moderate-income businesses when Congress reauthorized the Paycheck Protection Program a few months ago. I encourage my eligible constituents to apply today."

The SBA also announced the following changes to the program, intended to help the Paycheck Protection Program reach small businesses:

  • 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 student loan payments by eliminating student loan debt delinquency as a disqualifier 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.

Additional information can be found at https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources. Questions for Congressman Himes can be directed to Patrick Malone at Patrick.malone@mail.house.gov.