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PPP Changes 1200x800 2CHICAGO – State Senator Bill Cunningham wants to make sure local entrepreneurs are aware of recent changes to the federal Paycheck Protection Program, meant to make the program more accessible to smaller businesses.

“The PPP program has been a great opportunity that has helped many of our local small businesses stay afloat, but it was hard to access for some of our smallest business owners,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “If you looked into the program before but decided you didn’t qualify or wouldn’t be able to fill out the paperwork, it’s worth looking again after the recent changes.”

The Biden administration recently changed the loan calculation formula to make it easier for sole proprietors, independent contractors, and the self-employed to qualify for relief. They’ve also established that student loan debt and prior incarceration will no longer prevent small business owners from obtaining relief.

“If your business employs 20 people or less, now is the time to apply,” added Cunningham. “The federal government has opened a special window where only the smallest businesses – which make up 98% of the small business community – can apply.”

This special application window opened Feb. 24 and extends for two weeks.

More information about the PPP program, including how to apply, is available on the Small Business Administration’s website.