small biz 110520MARYVILLE – With the Paycheck Protection Program now more accessible to smaller businesses, State Senator Rachelle Crowe wants to make sure local entrepreneurs are aware of recent changes to the federal program.

“The federal Paycheck Protection Program has been a great opportunity that has helped many of our local small businesses overcome financial burdens, but it was difficult to access for some of our smallest business owners,” Crowe said. “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 into again after the recent changes.”

The loan calculation formula has been changed in hopes of making it easier for sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed residents 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,” Crowe added. “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.