Last year, small Black-owned and minority-owned businesses were reported as being denied access to PPP funding to help keep their businesses afloat.

In an effort to change that, Black-run website and a reputable community lender have partnered together to launch — a new initiative to specifically help more Black-owned businesses apply for and qualify for these business funds, Black Enterprise reports.

According to Black News, the Paycheck Protection Program has officially reopened with more than $280 billion in funding, and will initially only be available to community financial institutions that offer this capital access to small businesses in underserved and underprivileged communities.

Several initiatives have already been put in place to ensure Black and other minority business owners get a fair chance to secure these loans who couldn’t during the previous rounds of PPP lending or weren’t able to apply.

In addition to launching this platform, and it’s lending partner are also taking time to educate small business-owners about this round of funding.

Several new and interesting factors have been introduced this round, including:

  • Restaurants and hotels can get bigger loans. They qualify for loans equal to 3.5 times monthly payrolls.
  • There is more flexibility in how the loan may be used and still be forgiven. For any PPP loan to be fully forgiven, at least 60% of the funds must be used to cover payroll expenses. The remaining 40% or less can now be used to cover more business expenses than previously allowed during the initial rounds of PPP lending.
  • The forgiveness process has been simplified. In order to have a PPP loan forgiven, businesses that borrowed $150,000 or less will only need to submit a one-page document that includes the number of employees the business was able to employ as a result of the loan, an estimate of how much of the loan was used for payroll, and the total amount of the loan.
  • Bigger tax breaks for PPP loan recipients. The loans will continue to be tax-free for recipients if they’re used for authorized purposes, and now payroll expenses paid for with the loans can also be classified as tax-deductible items.

The deadline to apply for this funding round is March 31, 2021.

For more information about this platform and how to apply for PPP funding, click here.