14-day PPP exclusivity period: what you need to know

Please note: the PPP Exclusive Application Period closed on March 9, 2021. Also, though the PPP application deadline is being extended, you only have until May 31, 2021 to get your application submitted to the SBA. After that, the SBA will only process existing applications that have already been submitted, until the PPP deadline of June 30, 2021. 


In this 3-minute read:

  • PPP “Exclusive Application Period” opened 2/24/21 and continued through 3/9/21
  • Businesses with 20 or more employees will be unable to submit new applications
  • Current applications already submitted to SBA will continue to be processed during this time
  • What this means for self-employed, sole proprietors, contractors, and gig workers
  • More PPP rule changes on the way

On February 22, 2021, the Biden-Harris administration released a White House briefing announcing important changes to the PPP loan program. One important item is a 14-day “exclusive application period” beginning Wednesday, February 24th, 2021 and continuing through March 9.

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What is the Exclusive Application Period for PPP loans?

The exclusive application period is a 2-week window during which larger businesses will not be able to submit new PPP loan applications. During this period, PPP loan applications will be allowed only for America’s truly small businesses, independent contractors, sole proprietors, and eligible self-employed individuals, as businesses with 20 or more employees will be unable to submit their applications.

What if my business has 20 or more employees and I’ve already submitted my PPP application?

If you fall into the category of businesses who are excluded from submitting applications during the 14-day “lockout” period, but you have already submitted your PPP application to the SBA, your application will be processed as usual. The restriction applies only to new PPP loan applications submitted during the exclusive application window.

Small businesses with 20 or more employees will be allowed to submit new PPP loan applications starting March 10, 2021

The exclusivity period lasts for 14 days, after which any businesses, partnerships, non-profits, etc. that have 20 or more employees will be allowed to submit new PPP first draw or second draw applications again. 

Remember that the PPP loan extended application deadline is currently May 31, 2021, so if you are excluded from applying for these next 2 weeks, now would be a good time to get all your PPP loan documentation in order and get your application as ready as you can get it, and submit your application via your PPP lender starting on 3/10/21 so you don’t miss out on this vital stimulus.

How can small businesses, contractors, and gig workers take advantage of the 14-day exclusive application period?

The intent of this window is to allow applicants and lenders to process and prioritize PPP applications for a wide array of America’s small business infrastructure who have, for various reasons, not yet applied for this vital PPP stimulus relief.

If you have reported income on a 1099/IRS Form 1040 using Schedule C, and/or you have zero or fewer than 20 employees, you will be exclusively allowed to start your free PPP application with your SBA-approved lender and get the financial support you need to help you stay in business during these tough times.

What other rule changes are being made to the PPP loan process?

You can read our full article about major PPP loan program changes for 2021 (at least of what we know at this point), but briefly, here are some of the changes on the way in the next week:

  • 1040/Schedule C filers will be able to use GROSS profits in calculating their max PPP loan amounts, rather than net
  • 14-day “exclusive application period” starting 2/24 will permit only businesses with fewer than 20 employees to apply (discussed above)
  • $1B in PPP relief funding set aside for smallest businesses in LMI census tracts
  • All employees (seasonal, part-, or full-time) will count as 1 employee each
  • Felons will no longer be excluded from applying
  • Applicants who are delinquent on federal student loans will no longer be excluded from applying
  • Non-citizen-owned businesses will be able to apply for PPP loans if they are lawful residents and file taxes using an ITIN

There may be tweaks, updates, or additions to these changes, but that’s what the Biden administration has announced for now.

The SBA is working on program changes; more details to follow

According to the White House fact sheet, “The Biden-Harris administration will also make a sustained effort to work with lenders and small business owners to ensure small businesses take maximum advantage of this two-week window.” 

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