The Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) reopened on Monday with businesses and nonprofits served by small minority lenders having the first chance to apply for loans, according to the US Small Business Administration (SBA), which administers the program.

Starting Monday, community financial institutions will offer PPP loans to businesses that have not yet received assistance under the program. On Wednesday, the same small lenders will offer “second draw” loans to businesses that have already received a previous P3 loan.

David Latona is president of the Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation, a small, non-profit lender. Latona said they are working on some of the latest SBA guidelines, but expect to be able to start processing clients’ PPP loan applications by the end of the week.

Latona said it was hard to estimate how high the demand for loans would be this time around, but he said it was really hard for businesses not to know when they would no longer need money. ‘aid.

“You take on debt one way or another and it’s always, for any business owner, something to be nervous about,” Latona said. “You can’t borrow yourself from a bad situation.”

SBA regional administrator Robert Scott estimated the program would be open to all other businesses by Jan. 18-19. to cash “was when the program was launched.

“There will be more than enough money available for business,” Scott said. “I’m not saying (businesses) should just sit back and wait. Definitely work with your lender, work with your financial institution, and start this process now. But there’s no that…” we’re going to short money ‘- that’s no problem. “

The program has $ 284 billion available for loans this time around and will run until March 31.

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The first iteration of the program, created as part of the first round of federal coronavirus relief in March, has been criticized for favoring large companies with pre-existing banking relationships and leaving out many small minority-owned businesses. .

A Brookings Institution September Report found that businesses in predominantly black neighborhoods in the United States had to wait days and sometimes weeks longer to receive P3 loans than their counterparts in predominantly white neighborhoods.

The SBA said on Friday that allowing small minority lenders to be the first to offer loans under the program was aimed at providing better access to funds this time around.

The agency also detailed the rules for all companies wishing to take out a second PPP loan. To do this, a business must have used or plan to use its initial PPP loan only for permitted uses, the business must have 300 employees or less, and should show that the business has fallen by at least 25% over the course of quarter of 2020 compared to 2019.

Congress also made several changes to the program when it passed new funding for it during the second round of coronavirus aid in December. This involves letting businesses decide on the length of their loan period of up to 24 weeks, allowing businesses to use funds for more expenses such as operating expenses and property damage costs, and d ” expand the types of organizations that can apply for PPP loans.

The program was created by Congress in March to keep workers on the payroll during the unprecedented economic uproar that occurred at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The federal government has provided loans to small businesses to help cover the cost of payroll and other expenses. In general, if these companies were able to keep workers employed and maintain wage levels, the federal government would cancel the loans.

As of mid-August, nearly 90,000 small businesses and nonprofits in Wisconsin received P3 loans worth about $ 9.9 billion, according to the SBA.