Owners of small businesses have until Tuesday to submit applications for a loan through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, although a local administrator is urging paperwork to be submitted this week.

“We don’t want anybody walking into a lender on [June 30] because they’re probably not going to get processed in time,” said Jayne Armstrong, director of the SBA’s Iowa District Office.  

Nationally, the SBA has more than $100 billion remaining in the Paycheck Protection Program, which is part of the multitrillion-dollar federal coronavirus rescue program intended to help businesses with fewer than 500 workers stay afloat during the pandemic-related economic shutdown and to preserve jobs.

Through the program, small businesses can receive a loan of up to $10 million; if at least 60% of the money is used to maintain payrolls, the loan will be forgiven.

Some lenders have stopped processing new loan applications and others are only processing applications from existing clients, Armstrong said. “That’s why we’re really encouraging everybody this week, if they haven’t accessed PPP funding, to get that process starting. It may take some time to find a lender.”

Some of the program’s guidelines have been relaxed since the program was launched on April 3. For instance, business owners with a felony conviction in the past seven years were not eligible for a loan, Armstrong said. “Now it’s down to one year, unless it’s a felony conviction for a financial crime.

“I think there were some business owners who didn’t apply because of that rule.”

Through June 20, 56,603 Iowa small businesses and nonprofit organizations have been approved to receive over $5 billion from the program. The average size of a loan Iowa recipients received was $89,193, SBA information shows.

More than $514.9 billion in loans has been approved through the program to 4.66 million U.S. small businesses and nonprofit groups, according to the SBA.

The SBA doesn’t yet have information available on how many minority small business owners received loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, Armstrong said. 

“We know we’ve made loans to minority business owners, and we know we would like to see more loans made to Black-owned businesses,” she said. “At the local level, we just don’t have any numbers.”

Armstrong said the SBA has been working with Urban Dreams, a social services organization, and the local branch of the NAACP to get word to Black small business owners about the Paycheck Protection Program.

“We’ve had personal interaction with people, talked with leaders in the community trying to get the word out,” she said. 

People interested in applying for a Paycheck Protection Program loan should click here

In a related matter, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin recently told Congress that names of loan recipients and the size of loan they received would not be released because the information was “proprietary.” That position has since been reversed, the SBA announced.

However, a spokesperson for the SBA told the Business Record that she doesn’t know when the information will be available.

“The U.S. Small Business Administration is collecting relevant PPP data, but no timeline has been established as to when the information will be released,” June Teasley, the SBA’s regional communications director, wrote in an email. In addition, Teasley wrote that SBA officials haven’t yet determined the format in which the information will be released.