Banks and lenders adjust to paycheck protection program adjustmentNews

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The rules have changed to prioritize the smallest and most needy businesses to receive a paycheck protection program loan.

The Biden administration changed the rules of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s program on Monday. Smaller businesses have sometimes struggled to get help from the federal relief effort in previous cycles.

Local banks and lenders are adjusting to last minute changes.

The changes include a new way to calculate self-employed loans and an exclusive 14-day window for applications from businesses with less than 20 employees.

“We’re setting ourselves up now, just trying to figure out how this will affect our customers,” said Tara Shaffer, senior vice president of AmeriServ Financial.

“It looks like our client portfolio is already below that 20 employee limit. Big business jumped on it earlier in the process. We therefore expect the implementation of the new rules to go smoothly. “

With the passage of the second federal COVID stimulus bill earlier this year, another round of P3 loans and other resources have become available to businesses.

The latest PPP, which began Jan. 11 and ends at the end of March, has already disbursed $ 133.5 billion in loans, or about half of the $ 284 billion allocated by Congress, with an average loan of less than 74,000. dollars.

Representative Frank Burns, Township of D-East Taylor, has scheduled a town hall meeting to ensure local businesses have a good chance of fundraising.

“We saw last year how quickly similar funding programs ran out of money and how large companies took advantage of the program leaving little for small businesses,” Burns said in a press release.

“This time around, I want to make sure that doesn’t happen and make sure our local business leaders know exactly how they can access these critical resources.”

Burns has partnered with the US Small Business Administration’s Western Pennsylvania District Office to discuss information related to P3s, COVID-19 economic disaster loans, and other resources.

The virtual town hall is scheduled from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday.

The Town Hall will also be broadcast live on Burns’ Facebook page. Businesses with questions should contact its Ebensburg district office at 814-472-8021.

Russ O’Reilly is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @RussellOReilly.

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