Navigating COVID-19 Services and Resources

Cook County, Illinois

Visit to learn more about the Cook County COVID-19 Recovery: Small Business Assistance program.

Federal Government

The Biden-Harris Administration Increases Lending to Small Businesses in Need, Announces Changes to PPP to Further Promote Equitable Access to Relief.

Here are the facts that you need to know:

  1. Priority Window for Business Owners with Less than 20 Employees
    The Biden-Harris Administration will now open up a two-week period starting Wednesday Feb 24th where businesses with less 20 employees will have exclusive access to the application portal.
  2. 98% of all small businesses have 20 or fewer employees and this open period is potentially a lifeline for businesses who remain vulnerable.
  3. Better Serve Self-Employed/Sole Proprietors
    Going forward, self-employed individuals will use gross income to calculate the PPP loan amount.
  4. Additionally, the Biden-Harris Administration has set aside $1 billion for self-employed/ sole proprietors located in low- and moderate-income (LMI) areas. 
  5. Support for Second Chance Small Business Owners
    The Biden-Harris Administration has taken the bipartisan step to allow some small business owners with prior criminal records to apply for PPP funding.
  6. This will open funding to business owners who have turned their lives around, started a small business, created jobs, and contributed to their communities.
  7. Exempt Defaults on Student Loans
    Business owners who are behind on their federal student loan payments will now be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness under President Biden’s changes.
  8. Initially, business owners who were delinquent on federal student loans could access PPP funds, but could not receive the loan forgiveness, meaning they had to pay it all back.
  9. Clarification for Small Business Owners with Visas or Green Cards
    The Biden-Harris Administration clarified that residents who do not yet have a Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number can apply for PPP funding using their Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs).
  10. This new modification prohibits lenders from denying PPP funding to business owners who use ITINs to pay their taxes.

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