Paycheck Protection Program opens 2-week period dedicated to companies with 20 or fewer employees

The federal government's definition of a small business is any with 500 or fewer employees, and they've gotten most of the loans. So the next two weeks are dedicated to helping the smallest shops.

News 12 Staff

Feb 25, 2021, 11:21 PM

Updated 1,146 days ago

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Mom and pop businesses on the Island that have been battered by the pandemic got some help Thursday in the form of some potential federal assistance.
For the next two weeks, only businesses with 20 or fewer employees can apply under the Payment Protection Program – or PPP. The program has given loans to small businesses to pay for employees' salaries and expenses such aren't and utilities.
In most cases, the loans are forgivable - so it's essentially free money.
But the federal government's definition of a small business is any with 500 or fewer employees, and they've gotten most of the loans. So the next two weeks are dedicated to helping the smallest shops.
"There is a form to this process. There's applications that need to be done. The larger companies sometimes have advisers that help them," says Kevin O'Connor, of Dime Community Bank. "Smaller businesses are busy running their business, and it's hard to focus sometimes on that administrative thing that you need to do."
To be eligible for a PPP loan, businesses have to show a 25% reduction in profits from any quarter this year compared to the same quarter last year.
About 98% of the businesses in the country have 20 or fewer employees, but less than half of the PPP money given out has gone to companies that small.
"It took a couple of weeks and all of a sudden the money appeared in our checking account," says John Eilertsen, of the Bridgehampton Historical Society. "With the pandemic, most of our revenue streams have wither been eliminated or sharply curtailed. So the PPP is just a godsend."


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