Two weeks ago, the Biden-Harris Administration made several reforms to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to further ensure small businesses get the help they need, especially Mom-and-Pop businesses in underserved communities.

Putting equity at the center of its policies and programs, the Biden-Harris Administration launched a comprehensive plan to engage small businesses and nonprofits, focusing on building trust in underserved communities.

The cornerstone of reforms included a 14-day exclusivity period (February 24-March 9) where only businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees could apply for relief through the PPP. This period was to give lenders time to focus on reaching out to the smallest of small businesses left behind in previous rounds.

Early indications show program reforms and efforts to engage with communities authentically are working in meaningful ways. As of March 7, a comparison of the daily average rate of loans made during the exclusivity period and daily average rate ten days before the exclusivity period show loans to:


In total, more than 400,000 small businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees were serviced during the exclusivity period as of March 7. Compared to the ten days preceding the exclusivity period, the reforms show that nearly 200,000 are first-time PPP borrowers – a 25% increase in daily approvals.

During the exclusivity period, the Administration and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) focused on targeted community outreach in underserved communities to organize and participate in:


Additionally, on March 5, the SBA implemented the rest of the changes the President made, including changing the formula for Schedule C filers, eliminating exclusionary restrictions on student loan debt and non-fraud felony convictions, and ensuring access for immigrant business owners. We are starting to see early momentum from those changes as well.

  • Nearly 30,000 small businesses had flags removed due to delinquent student loan debt, allowing them access to new PPP loans and forgiveness from the last round of PPP.
  • Tens of thousands of new applications have come in from sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals from over 2,000 PPP lenders