Changes to Paycheck Protection Program could help local businesses

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 9:02 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - It’s a move that could benefit the Mom and Pop businesses in the region during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Biden Administration has announced changes to the Paycheck Protection Program that will start this week - in an effort to reach more minority-owned and very small businesses that may have missed out on accessing previous PPP funding. Starting on Wednesday, businesses with fewer than 20 employees will have access to an exclusive two-week window to apply for the program. Over at Kenji’s restaurant in East Reno, which has four workers, the owners say these changes to the program help narrow the playing field.

“That will be a huge advantage for small businesses, minority-owned. Gives the smaller guys a chance to get this loan,” says Keli Saffery, Kenji’s owner. “It would help with payroll, paying bills, everything. It’s just peace of mind.”

“This is the sustenance of our local community-- small businesses,” says Ann Silver, CEO of the Reno+Sparks Chamber of Commerce. “So we’re going to do everything we can to make sure they’re eligible to get their paperwork in on time.”

Silver says there are hundreds of businesses in Reno and Sparks that would be eligible to apply. She says her organization sent out an email blast to its members to let them know what forms they will have to fill out to apply so they don’t miss the exclusive two-week window.

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