Applications open for next round of Paycheck Protection Program

There's now a second chance for drowning Long Island small businesses to get federal money to help them through the COVID-19 crisis.
The applications for the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program opened Monday.
There have been complaints for weeks from the owners of small businesses with five or 10 employees, including deli owners, barbershops and gift stores.
The really small businesses feel they were shut out of the first round of government money by larger companies which were better connected and possibly got favorable treatment by larger banks. The federal government considers any company with up to 500 employees a "small business."
"We put an application in to BNB Bank for the Olympic Diner and that went through one, two, three. We put the application in, the website came up, they called us, we signed some papers and it came through. My other business in Farmingdale, we used Capital One Bank and their website only came up a week after the money ran out," says Pete Kanaras, of the Olympic Diner.
Some people were hoping that a provision would be included in the second stimulus package that set aside a specific amount of money just for very small businesses - that didn't happen.
The Long Island's Congressional delegation called on banks to cater to smaller businesses, but businesses will have to see what happens as the second round gets underway.
Speaking at a webinar held by Newsday and the LIA, John Mallano of the Small Business Administration, said $60 billion in the stimulus is going to small and mid-sized banks.
In some cases, small banks did come up big the first time around. BNB says it obtained 2,500 loans, processing applications on a first-come, first-serve basis, no matter the size of the company or loan amount.
BNB President Kevin O'Connor says even though banks his size were given a separate chunk of money, he believes larger banks still have an advantage.
"The SBA came out with some regulations yesterday that will allow the banks that have the most applications -- 15,000+ -- to go in a separate way than banks our size, which I think will put them at an advantage," says O'Connor.
When the application process began Monday, the SBA website was overwhelmed and lenders say they had trouble submitting applications. They say it took a few hours before they were able to submit regularly.
For more information about the Paycheck Protection Program and the application process, click here.