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Coalition Roundup: January 15, 2021

The next round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) began earlier this week, offering new and small businesses another shot at much-needed relief. As members of the Start Us Up coalition have emphasized for weeks, this new round of funding is long overdue, as entrepreneurs prepare for the back half of an unforgiving winter — many facing a crossroads for their survival.

Since April, research from Small Business Majority has circulated among news outlets making the case that “the Paycheck Protection Program failed many Black-owned businesses,” as written in Vox in October.

Indeed, the flaws of the first round of funding are well documented, from the program’s inconsistent reach and rates of denial to its complexity. With the latest iteration underway, it is critical efforts are taken to ensure prior failures are corrected and that relief flows to the businesses that need it most.

Third round of PPP has begun, with a head start for minority-owned businesses
In Minnesota, Meda CEO Alfredo Martel was quoted in the Star Tribune, discussing the SBA’s decision to increase “access to the capital BIPOC businesses need,” initially receiving applications from businesses that lack traditional relationships with banks. The article notes that Meda will “manage applications and facilitate $35 million or so of the forgivable loans.”

Small Business Aid Program Relaunches With Changes to Help Minority-Owned Businesses
Similarly, in Colorado, Small Business Majority state director Hunter Railey was interviewed to discuss changes to the program and what they mean for business owners of color. Acknowledging new set-asides and guardrails to ensure big and thriving businesses don’t take money from struggling businesses in need, Railey said “it still might not be enough to get the money to where it’s needed most — particularly minority communities and low-income areas that just don’t have a lot of banks.”

The Midnight Covid-19 Relief Package: 3 Provisions That Are Important For Small Business
Public Private Strategies founder Rhett Buttle documented changes to the program in late December, as well as other aspects of the $900 billion Covid-19 relief package that will impact local ecosystems. In addition to changes to the PPP, Economic Impact Payments to working families and an expanded Employee Retention Tax Credit will help businesses weather the storm. Nonetheless, Buttle writes that “it will not be enough. Already President-elect Biden has indicated that he will call on Congress to do more.”

Everything You Need to Know About the Renewed PPP Loan and New PPP Funding: What We Know So FarHello Alice and SCORE both published explainer pieces, detailing provisions that struggling businesses need to know to take advantage of the second round of funding.

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