Mountain BizWorks is once again partnering with Dogwood Health Trust in a targeted effort to provide increased access to another round of the Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for nonprofits, small businesses, sole proprietors and independent contractors in the region, with a focus on rural and minority and women-led organizations.

‘Round 2’ of the forgivable loan program – or PPP 2.0 – was recently injected with $284 billion in funding and is accepting applications from first- and second-time borrowers.

The Mountain BizWorks regional application process for all applicants opened on Jan. 18. Information and application materials can be found at mountainbizworks.org/ppp/.

PPP was created to provide loans to organizations impacted by COVID-19 and are forgivable if they are used to cover payroll, including benefits, mortgage interest, rent, utilities, worker protection costs related to COVID-19, and certain supplier costs and expenses for operations. PPP 2.0 allows certain eligible borrowers that previously received a PPP loan to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan. A borrower is generally eligible for a Second Draw PPP Loan if the borrower previously received a First Draw PPP Loan and will or has used the full amount only for authorized uses, has no more than 300 employees; and can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.

Borrowers are also able to set their loans’ covered period to be any length between eight and 24 weeks to best meet their business needs. The program has also expanded eligibility to include 501©(6)s , housing cooperatives, destination marketing organizations, as well as greater flexibility for seasonal employees.

As they did in April 2020, Dogwood Health Trust is supporting this effort with an initial investment of $2 million to help Mountain BizWorks fund PPP loans through when they are forgiven by SBA. Dogwood is also tapping into their network of partners and grantees to share and promote this opportunity.

In the first round of PPP, Mountain BizWorks made 426 loans for a total of $11,606,068. These loans directly supported the retention of 2,334 jobs retained in the region. 72% of the Mountain BizWorks and Dogwood Health Trust loan dollars benefited rural businesses, 56% were to women-led enterprises, 25% to people of color-led enterprises, and 42% were for small nonprofits.

Full information on Mountain BizWorks PPP 2.0 program can be found at mountainbizworks.org/ppp/.

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