An update for Pinellas County businesses on COVID-19
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for
Pinellas businesses impacted by COVID-19

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) from the federally funded U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. You can find details from the SBA at: .

The loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.

F orgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease.

The covered period during which expenses can be forgiven extends from February 15, 2020 to June 30, 2020. Borrowers can choose which 8 weeks they want to count towards the covered period, which can start as early as February 15, 2020.

This loan has a maturity of 2 years and an interest rate of .5%.

Where can you apply?
  • You can apply through your local bank or credit union. Any federally insured bank, credit union or existing SBA 7(a) lender that is participating in the Paycheck Protection Program can accept your application.
  • You should check online, call or email your preferred lender to ensure the organization is participating in the PPP program.
  • Lenders may have individual application processes.
  • Lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as April 3, 2020. 

Who can apply?
  • This program is for any small business with less than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organization, or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by coronavirus/COVID-19.
  • Businesses in certain industries may have more than 500 employees if they meet the SBA’s size standards for those industries.
  • Small businesses in the hospitality and food industry with more than one location could also be eligible at the store and location level if the store employs less than 500 workers. This means each store/location could be eligible.

When can I apply?
  • Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.
  • Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.
  • Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans as soon as they are approved and enrolled in the program

Sample Application:

Links below are to PPP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) lists:

Questions? Please contact the SBA's Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or your local lender.

Additional resources for businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Pinellas County Economic Development