Small Business Administration: PPP Re-Opening + Top Business Trends for 2021
SBA and Treasury Announce PPP Re-Opening; Issue New Guidance
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Treasury Department, announced today that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will re-open the week of January 11 for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. To promote access to capital, initially only community financial institutions will be able to make First Draw PPP Loans on Monday, January 11, and Second Draw PPP Loans on Wednesday, January 13. The PPP will open to all participating lenders shortly thereafter. Updated PPP guidance outlining Program changes to enhance its effectiveness and accessibility was released on January 6 in accordance with the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act.
This round of the PPP continues to prioritize millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $284 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses through March 31, 2021, and by allowing certain existing PPP borrowers to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan.
“The historically successful Paycheck Protection Program served as an economic lifeline to millions of small businesses and their employees when they needed it most,” said Administrator Jovita Carranza. “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.”
“The Paycheck Protection Program has successfully provided 5.2 million loans worth $525 billion to America’s small businesses, supporting more than 51 million jobs,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “This updated guidance enhances the PPP’s targeted relief to small businesses most impacted by COVID-19. We are committed to implementing this round of PPP quickly to continue supporting American small businesses and their workers.”
Key PPP updates include:
- PPP borrowers can set their PPP loan’s covered period to be any length between 8 and 24 weeks to best meet their business needs;
- PPP loans will cover additional expenses, including operations expenditures, property damage costs, supplier costs, and worker protection expenditures;
- The Program’s eligibility is expanded to include 501(c)(6)s, housing cooperatives, destination marketing organizations, among other types of organizations;
- The PPP provides greater flexibility for seasonal employees;
- Certain existing PPP borrowers can request to modify their First Draw PPP Loan amount; and
- Certain existing PPP borrowers are now eligible to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan.
A borrower is generally eligible for a Second Draw PPP Loan if the borrower:
- Previously received a First Draw PPP Loan and will or has used the full amount only for authorized uses;
- Has no more than 300 employees; and
- Can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.
The new guidance released includes:
- PPP Guidance from SBA Administrator Carranza on Accessing Capital for Minority, Underserved, Veteran, and Women-owned Business Concerns;
- Interim Final Rule on Paycheck Protection Program as Amended by Economic Aid Act; and
- Interim Final Rule on Second Draw PPP Loans.
Leverage these four emerging business trends to give your business an edge in the new year.
For small businesses across America, 2020 has been one of the most challenging years in history. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, small business owners have been resilient, pivoting, and adapting their business models to navigate continually changing conditions. With the new year on the horizon, there are potential new opportunities to take advantage of and ways to adapt to challenges you may face. Here are a few business trends that are likely to dominate in 2021, along with tips on how to position your business for growth:
Businesses will continue to prioritize e-commerce. While e-commerce was already growing before the pandemic, a report by IBM shows the shift away from physical stores to digital shopping has sped up by roughly five years. According to the report, e-commerce is projected to grow by 20% in total in 2020. To prepare for this shift in consumer spending, fine-tune your small business’s e-commerce presence in 2021. Create a seamless e-commerce experience for your customers by making your site mobile-friendly.
Alternative payment options will proliferate. Another trend that is likely to last into 2021 and beyond is the dominance of alternative payment options. In their annual State of Retail Payments study, the National Retail Federation found that no-touch payments (e.g. contactless credit and debit cards or mobile pay) for retailers have increased 69% since January. Among retailers that have implemented contactless payments, 94% expect the increase to continue over the next 18 months. Heading into next year, explore touchless payment options for your small business, including online payments with curbside pickup.
Remote work will persist. During the pandemic, many small businesses shifted to part-time or full-time remote work schedules in response to local ordinances. According to a survey by Intermedia, 57% of small to medium-sized business owners said they will continue to offer remote work options in the long term. Depending on your type of business, you may need to consider offering remote work options to compete for talented workers in 2021 and beyond. This also means that you may need to invest in additional technology and software solutions going forward to ensure that your employees can telework. For example, another survey from GGV Capital shows that 54% of small business owners spent more on software solutions in 2020 than in 2019, and 75% expect that spending to increase next year.
Businesses that offer virtual services will continue to be in high demand. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the pandemic has led to increased demand for certain business types, particularly those related to technology and virtual health and fitness. These include cybersecurity, at-home fitness, food delivery, gaming, home improvement, and telemedicine businesses. If you are considering starting a business, or are looking for ways to pivot or expand your business, look to these business categories for inspiration.
For further insights on how you can incorporate these trends into your small business plans for 2021, connect with a local SBA resource partner for expert, tailored advice.
Read here: https://www.sba.gov/blog/top-business-trends-2021