WASHINGTON – – Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration and lenders are taking more strides to improve the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) so that small businesses can access much needed PPP funds to persevere through the pandemic, recover, and build back better. The Administration is working with the Agency to increase equitable access to underserved small businesses, to assure the integrity of the program, and to promote rapid and efficient distribution of funds.

This week, the SBA hit a major milestone of approving $103 billion of PPP funds to more than 1.4 million small businesses. Highlights from this round include:

Reaching more of the smallest businesses; 82% of all loans going to businesses requesting less than $100K

Reaching rural communities in a meaningful way; 28% of businesses who have received funding this round are in rural communities

Increasing partnerships with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) who are trusted agents in extending economic relief to minority communities and underserved populations

The SBA is also following through on its commitment to take additional steps towards improving the speed to resolve data mismatches and eligibility concerns so that small businesses have as much time as possible to access much needed PPP funds, while maintaining the integrity of the program. Three important changes will:

Enable lenders to directly certify eligibility of borrowers for First Draw and Second Draw loan applications with validation errors to ensure businesses who need funds and are eligible receive them as quickly as possible

Allow lenders to upload supporting documentation of borrowers with validation errors during the forgiveness process

Create additional communication channels with lenders to assure we are constantly improving equity, speed, and integrity of the program, including an immediate national lender call to brief them on the Platform’s added capabilities

“We are pleased that the Paycheck Protection Program is targeting the smallest of small businesses and providing economic relief at a crucial time in American history. The SBA has achieved another major milestone to provide critical recovery capital to America’s small businesses by approving 1.3 million PPP loans totaling $104 billion in the current round. While we are excited that we are doing a better job of reaching the hardest hit industries and communities, we are committed to taking additional steps to ensure that there is equitable access for underserved businesses and that we are leading with empathy to support small businesses in a difficult spot,” says SBA Senior Advisor to the Administrator Michael Roth.

Through SBA’s 68 district offices, the Agency will work in close partnership with the Biden-Harris Administration to further leverage its resource partner network and expand on multilingual access and outreach about the PPP. Updated PPP information, including forms, guidance, and resources can be found at www.sba.gov/ppp and www.treasury.gov/cares.

The SBA Seattle District and SBA Resource Partners continue to provide informational webinars on all Coronavirus Relief programs. Below is a list of upcoming webinars in February:

Feb. 10 at 2 p.m. – Round 2 COVID-19 Relief and PPP Information

Feb. 12 at 10 a.m. – SBA Round 2 COVID-19 Relief and PPP Application

Feb. 17 at 10 a.m. – Round 2 COVID-19 Relief and PPP Information

Feb. 24 at 2 p.m. – Round 2 COVID-19 Relief and PPP Information