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Changes To PPP May Help Small, Minority-Owned Businesses

Tim Mossholder
IPR file
Many businesses the Greater Quad Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has worked with have seen reduced foot traffic during the pandemic. Small businesses even more so. This second round of PPP has increased funding to small businesses (ten or fewer employees) by about 60 percent.

The Biden administration has changed some rules for the Paycheck Protection Program, which made attaining funds easier for some minority-owned businesses in the region.

The Biden administration started a 14-day period specifically for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications from businesses with fewer than 20 employees. The Greater Quad Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has already seen how the changes have affected small, minority-owned businesses.

Janessa Calderon, the executive director of the chamber, said since that time is set aside specifically for smaller businesses, "it's going to allow these small businesses, nonprofits and self-employed individuals to remove any access restrictions in their way and receive the financial support their business needs.”

Calderon said multiple businesses have already reached out to the chamber to learn more about what this means for them. She said to "ace" the questions from the community, the chamber will host bilingual, virtual events this month to further help small, Latino-owned businesses access the PPP funds.

"I think it's changed in the way that since it's made it easier to access them. Hopefully, it'll eliminate some of those barriers for them to apply," Calderon said.

The first round of PPP was released during the Trump administration. This second round has now come into play largely during the Biden administration, which Calderon said might have had an impact on the aspect of trust when it comes to the federally-funded forgivable loans.

"I think building trust between minority and immigrant owned businesses, and the federal and state government is important when it comes to applying confidently for these grants and loans," Calderon said.

According to research from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach—Community and Economic Development, only about seven percent of the first round of PPP funds in Iowa went to minority-owned businesses.

In the second round, the funds that went to rural small businesses was up almost 30 percent and funding for Minority Depository Institutions is up about 40 percent.

Kassidy was a reporter based in Des Moines