The SBA made recent changes to the Paycheck Protection Program to further promote equitable relief for America’s small businesses.

The SBA announced that it will:

  • Establish a 14-day, exclusive PPP loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees starting Wednesday, February 24.

  • 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 federal student loan payments by eliminating federal student loan debt delinquency and default as disqualifiers to participating in the PPP.

  • 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.

The 14-day exclusivity period will started on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 9 a.m. and will close March 9, 2021. The other four changes will be implemented by the first week of March.

Borrowers can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program by downloading the First Draw PPP loan application or Second Draw PPP loan application and working with a participating PPP lender through the SBA Lender Match tool.
Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to Texas businesses and residents as a result of President Biden’s major disaster declaration, U.S. Small Business Administration’s acting Administrator Tami L. Perriello announced.

The declaration covers 77 Texas counties as a result of the severe winter storms that began on Feb. 11, 2021. See below for the list of declared counties. In consideration of the public health concerns due to the Coronavirus pandemic, on Tuesday, Feb. 23, SBA will establish a Virtual Business Recovery Center to provide personalized assistance to business owners.

In addition, SBA will also open a Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center to help homeowners and renters. Customer Service Representatives will be available to business owners and individuals to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each person complete their electronic loan application.

Virtual Business Recovery Center and Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. EDT. Email:; Phone: 1-800-659-2955

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, survivors must first contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
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The University of Houston Texas Gulf Coast SBDC Network is a business advising and training center serving 32 counties in Southeast Texas. The SBDC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U. S. Small Business Administration. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact the SBDC at (713) 752-8488 for accommodations.