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Congress originally set aside $349 billion to be given to businesses via the PPP, but those funds quickly ran out and Congress added another $320 billion in funds in late April. — Getty Images/Chaay_Tee


Updated 6/1/21: The PPP loan application portal is closed. PPP applications are no longer being accepted. For more information on other grants, loans and programs available to small businesses, please see these articles:

30+ Grants, Loans and Programs to Benefit Your Small Business

A Practical Guide to Funding Your Small Business with Business Loans

7 SBA Loans to Know About


For more on stimulus aid still available, see our main story here.

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If your business hasn’t gotten a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan yet, there may still be time. The deadline for applying for the loan is now August 8 for businesses that didn’t get the chance to participate.

Congress originally set the deadline for PPP applications for June 30, but as the deadline hit, more than $130 billion of PPP funds were unspent. In March 2020, the federal government passed massive relief measures for individuals and businesses that were affected by the COVID-19 crisis. One of the biggest parts of that aid package targeting businesses was the Paycheck Protection Program, which offers forgivable loans to companies on the condition that most of the loan goes to pay workers.

How the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) works

The PPP, part of the $2 trillion CARES Act that passed in March, is designed to assist small businesses and nonprofits with less than 500 employees that have suffered COVID-19-related disruptions. The PPP offers forgivable loans, which are issued by private lenders and credit unions, and then approved and backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

The basic purpose of the PPP is to encourage small businesses to keep workers on payroll and/or to rehire workers who were let go during COVID-19 shutdowns. Common recipients of PPP loans have been restaurants, bars, retail stores, event businesses and construction companies, all of which have been placed under restrictions.

Congress originally set aside $349 billion to be given to businesses via the PPP, but those funds quickly ran out and Congress added another $320 billion in funds in late April. In total, $669 billion was allocated for business relief, but $130 billion has been left undistributed as of the original PPP deadline on June 30.

At the end of June, the SBA had approved 4.8 million loans worth more than $500 billion, showing the immense scope of PPP. The average loan size totaled about $107,000 and more than 5,000 lenders across the U.S. participated in the program, indicating many small and medium-sized businesses were able to take part.

Learn more about how to manage your businesses cash flow during challenging times with our latest episode of CO— Blueprint.

At the end of June, the SBA had approved 4.8 million loans worth more than $500 billion, showing the immense scope of PPP.

How businesses can apply for PPP

Businesses and non-profits that did not get the chance to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan (or were hesitant to) still have the opportunity to get funding, thanks to Congress extending the deadline.

To get started with a PPP application, businesses should begin by talking with any lender they have a preexisting relationship with to see if it is participating. If the lender they normally work with is not taking part or they don’t have a lender, a wide array of traditional banks and fintech lenders are accepting applications. Once an application has been accepted by a lender, it goes to the SBA for final approval. Upon approval, the loan can be distributed.

An important part of the PPP for many businesses is that the loan is forgivable if conditions are met, including that at least 60% of the loan must go to pay employees. The stipulations around forgiveness have changed since the program began, so it’s smart to review the latest guidelines from the SBA. Businesses can also view the latest SBA loan forgiveness application to help get finances in order before accepting the loan.

If you’re looking for more guidance regarding the Paycheck Protection Program, please check out the following guides:

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Published February 22, 2021