The U.S. Small Business Administration announced Wednesday the creation of a portal for Paycheck Protection Program recipients of $150,000 or less (6.5 million businesses are eligible) to apply directly for forgiveness through the SBA.
Currently, the program is only operating in “invite-only pilot mode” and will open to the general business public on Aug. 4, 2021. Prospective applicants for loan forgiveness will be able to apply here starting next Wednesday. Borrowers with questions or concerns can contact the SBA customer service team at (877) 552-2692, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. ET.
“This initiative will allow PPP borrowers to put their concerns of achieving full forgiveness behind them and focus on operating and growing their businesses again,” Patrick Kelley, associate administrator for the SBA’s Office of Capital Access, said in a statement. “We are pleased to be able to assist financial institutions across the U.S. in processing forgiveness applications for small business owners.”
According to the SBA, they have partnered with 600 banks, enabling about 2.17 million businesses to apply directly through the SBA portal, which represents about one-third of the applicants with loans of $150,000 or less that have not yet applied for direct forgiveness.
“The streamlined and efficient SBA PPP loan forgiveness portal will help borrowers and lenders move forward with economic growth and job creation following the pandemic,” Sam Sidhu, President & CEO of Customers Bank said in a statement. “We encourage other lenders to join Customers Bank and opt-in to the SBA portal.”
Last fall, the SBA released a new streamlined loan forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program borrowers of less than $50,000 that reduces the application from 12 pages to two. Later, the U.S. Treasury Department clarified that PPP loan recipients that “reasonably expect” their loans will be forgiven will not be able to deduct expenses associated with their loan, whether the business has applied for forgiveness or not.
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