Biden announces policy changes to target COVID-19 aid to smaller businesses

President BidenJoe BidenHouse The Democrat threatens to vote against the party’s spending bill if the HBCU does not receive more federal aid. Defense and National Security Overnight – Pentagon’s Deadly Mistake Haitians Stranded in Texas Prolong Biden’s Immigration Problems MORE on Monday announced policy changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) intended to target coronavirus relief on smaller businesses and minority-owned businesses.

Among the changes, the Small Business Administration is instituting a 14-day period starting Wednesday and ending March 9, allowing only companies with fewer than 20 employees to apply for help through the PPP.

“Small businesses are the engines of our economic progress, they are the glue and the heart and soul of our communities. But they’re crushed, ”Biden said in remarks to the White House, noting that about 400,000 small businesses have closed their doors amid restrictions put in place to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

“It harms the black, Latin American and Asian communities the most,” he continued.

Biden has expressed support for PPP, a lending program established under the Trump administration when Congress passed the bipartisan CARES law last year. However, he criticized the program for allowing small businesses to be “beefed up” by large companies.

Biden announced on Monday that his administration would change its formula for calculating loans for sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed workers to more easily obtain recoverable PPP loans.

The administration is also removing restrictions preventing people who have previously been convicted of a non-fraudulent crime or those who are behind on their federal student loans from receiving funds through the P3.

Finally, the Biden administration is expected to move forward with new guidelines clarifying that non-citizen small business owners who hold green cards or are in the United States on a visa can get PPP loans.

The president also said on Monday he would strengthen oversight of the program, calling on any inspector general with jurisdiction over loans to review them and publicly report any inconsistencies with the policies he has set out.

“We will make sure every dollar is well spent, he said.

The Trump-era agenda was popular but withstood scrutiny last year, as data showed much of the aid was going to large U.S. companies, including some large chains.

Biden used the remarks on Monday to push for swift passage of his $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief proposal, which is making its way to Congress and is expected to go through the House as early as this week.

“It’s a starting point, not an ending point. We need Congress to pass my US bailout. It addresses the immediate crisis our small businesses are facing,” he said .

Biden noted that his proposal would invest $ 50 billion to help small businesses after the PPP ends, which is due to expire at the end of March.

Biden said he hoped the relief proposal would garner support from Democrats and Republicans, challenging critics to specify what they would take away from it.

Updated at 13:27

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