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The PPP Loan Program Has Ended, Other Options Are Available

Danielle Letenyei - Author

Jun. 10 2021, Published 11:27 a.m. ET

The SBA (Small Business Administration) has closed the doors on the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program), so new applicants can't get a PPP loan. However, there are other options available.

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PPP loans were part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed in March 2020 to provide much-needed relief to businesses facing shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The loans were intended to help businesses continue to pay their employees throughout the pandemic. 

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As of May 31, the SBA had dolled out over $798 billion in loans to over 8.5 million small businesses across the nation. 

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“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.

Reports that the PPP program was running out of funds started circulating in early May. During that final month, the SBA limited new applications that they would accept to only those from community financial institutions, which usually serve minority borrowers. 

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Guzman said many of the country’s smallest businesses and those owned by women and people of color were left out of early rounds of the relief program.

“I’m proud of the work we did to begin to rectify these inequities -- in 2021, 96 percent of PPP loans went to small businesses with fewer than 20 employees. Moving forward, we will continue to prioritize equity in all SBA’s programs and services,” she said in a press release. 

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Approved PPP loans will still be funded.

If you were approved for a PPP loan before the May 31 deadline but still haven’t received any money, you don't need to worry. Approved PPP applications from lenders will continue to be funded by the SBA. 

Other relief programs are available.

For business owners who missed the boat on getting a PPP loan, there are other relief programs to help get a business back on track.  

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Restaurant Revitalization Fund

The SBA’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund provides funding for struggling restaurants, bars, and other qualifying businesses. Under this program, a restaurant can receive funding equal to their pandemic-related lost revenue up to $10 million per business or $5 million per location. 

Recipients of the funds don’t have to pay them back as long as they use the money for eligible uses. They also have up to March 11, 2023, to use the funds. 

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empty restaurant
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Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG)

The SBA has also reopened applications for its Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG). The program has over $16 billion in grants for “shuttered venues,” like theaters and music venues. Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45 percent of their gross earned revenue up to a maximum amount of $10 million. The program also reserves $2 billion for venues with up to 50 full-time employees.

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Employee Retention Credit

The Employee Retention Credit program was included in the CARES Act and expanded in President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. Eligible employers can receive tax credits against the employer share of Social Security tax equal to 75 percent of the qualified wages they pay to employees from December 31, 2020, through June 30, 2021, up to $10,000 per employee per quarter.

COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans

The SBA also provides COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans for small businesses and non-profits that lost revenue due to the pandemic. Under this program, businesses can receive up to 24 months of relief and a maximum loan amount of $500,000. Unlike the PPP loans, which can be forgiven for eligible borrowers, these loans must be repaid within 30 years. The loans have fixed interest rates of 3.75 percent for businesses and 2.75 percent for non-profits. 


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