With Congress approving up to $284 billion to loans, small businesses can apply for Paycheck Protection starting Jan. 11

With Congress approving up to $284 billion to loans, small businesses can apply for Paycheck Protection starting Jan. 11

Jovita Carranza, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, speaks as Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury secretary, listens at a House Small Business Committee hearing in Washington, D.C.

Erin Scott | Getty Images

The Paycheck Protection Program will reopen on Jan. 11, offering forgivable loans to small businesses and allowing certain cash-strapped firms to borrow a second time, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Congress authorized up to $284 billion toward the small business loan program as part of the sweeping Covid relief act that went into effect near the end of 2020.

That measure also included additional aid for small businesses in the form of tax deductibility for expenses covered by PPP, as well as tax credits for firms that kept their employees on payroll and simplified forgiveness for loans under $150,000.

This time, the SBA and Treasury Department have staggered the reopening.

That means at first only community financial institutions – this includes banks and credit unions that lend in low-income communities — will be able to initiate PPP loan applications on Jan. 11.

They will offer second PPP loans to qualifying businesses starting on Jan. 13, the SBA said.

Firms taking a second infusion of loan proceeds must meet certain qualifications, including having no more than 300 employees and experiencing at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts in a quarter between 2019 and 2020.

The program will reopen to all participating lenders shortly thereafter, according to the agency.

“Today’s guidance builds on the success of the program and adapts to the changing needs of small business owners by providing targeted relief and a simpler forgiveness process to ensure their path to recovery,” said Jovita Carranza, administrator of the SBA.