That stampede of applications come less than two months after the federal agency opened its SBA PPP Direct Forgiveness Portal. The platform is geared to make the process easier for businesses with a loan of $150,000 or less.
The SBA reports the portal has received applications for over $17 billion in financial relief since it was launched in early August. Loan forgiveness is a big deal because it means it means proprietors—particularly those hit hard by the COVID 19 pandemic—can start building their businesses back up. They can also use the monthly payments to invest in buying inventory, paying rent, or other operating functions without the burden of paying the loan.
“We are committed to delivering against the promise of forgiveness for our eligible PPP borrowers,” SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman stated. “Our innovative direct forgiveness portal is helping our PPP borrowers get back to doing what they do best—creating jobs and powering our nation’s economy.”
To help expedite the process, the number of direct forgiveness participating lenders is now over 1,400, more than double from 600 when the portal opened.
Yet, more than 5 million businesses with loans under $150,000 reportedly still haven’t submitted their 2021 PPP loan forgiveness application.
The SBA encourages eligible PPP borrowers who have not applied for loan forgiveness to do so here or contact their lender. The SBA has created a customer service line at (877) 552-2692 to help answer questions on forgiveness applications.
The loan forgiveness is tied to an effort to end one of the American government’s biggest relief programs in history. Nearly $800 billion in forgivable loans were handed out between April 2020 to May 2021. The PPP was primarily set up to help small businesses stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic.