NORFOLK, Va. - More help will soon be available for small businesses. The latest COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress includes funding for a second round of the Paycheck Protection Program.
The PPP provides low-interest loans to eligible small businesses which can be forgiven if certain criteria are met.
There's $284 billion available for this round. Businesses that received money in the first round can potentially receive another loan if they've been hit especially hard.
There are a couple requirements, but one of the main ones is that they experienced a 25% reduction in any quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter of 2019.
Another difference with the program this time is that the expenses that can be covered have expanded to include employer-paid health insurance, business disruptions from riots and pandemic-related expenses.
That means "any personal devices such as the plexiglass dividers, things like that, protective equipment for personnel," said John Asbury, CEO of Atlantic Union Bank.
It also expands the eligibility. In this round, 501(c)(6) organizations can apply, which includes organizations like chambers of commerce. Hotels and restaurants can also receive additional benefits.
"If you're in the lodging or food services business, you're now eligible to borrow three and a half months of your average monthly payroll," Asbury said. "Otherwise it's two and a half months, so that means more money is going to be available for the hard-hit restaurant industry."
It's unclear yet when applications can be submitted, but Asbury says it could be around January 13.
Businesses will have until March 31 to apply.
Check with your bank to see if they are accepting applications.
You can learn more about the process with Atlantic Union Bank by clicking here.