MILWAUKEE — A new round of PPP loans was launched this week and aims to reach more minority-owned businesses. The changes to the program will benefit businesses with very few or no employees including sole proprietors and people who are self-employed.
Eric Ness, the Small Business Administration (SBA) District Director of Wisconsin, said nationwide "95% of black-owned firms and 91% of Latino owned firms are sole proprietors. So that should help those businesses."
Ness says businesses will also now be able to use gross income and instead of net income, which should help smaller businesses qualify for the loans.
Additionally, from Feb. 24 until March 9, the SBA will exclusively be accepting applications from businesses with fewer than 20 employees.
Wenbin Yuan, the Vice President of the Wisconsin Chinese Chamber of Commerce, says many of the chamber's members will benefit. And as a small business owner himself, he knows just firsthand just how much the help is needed.
"Small businesses did struggle before the pandemic, now it's a much harder struggle as you can understand," Yuan said.
He said he's happy to see an emphasis is being put on minority-owned businesses as well.
"PPP for small businesses, especially minority business, is just an essential support for this country's thriving down the road," Yuan said.
The changes will also allow legal U.S. residents that are not citizens to apply for PPP loans.
If you're wanting to apply, SBA.gov has a lender match to help businesses get in touch with local lenders able to provide PPP loans.