BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Around $150 million is left in the Payroll Protection Program, and the Biden administration wants to make sure it gets to small businesses.
"In the last few months we've increased the share of funding for small businesses with fewer than 10 employees by nearly 60%. For businesses in rural communities, the share of funding is up nearly 30%," Biden said.
Starting on Wednesday, only businesses with 20 or fewer employees will be able to apply for two weeks. The Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce says around 2,100 of their members alone fall in that category.
"We have well over 2,000 members that can benefit from being at the front of the line and nationally there are over 5.3 million businesses with under 20 employees," said Brittney Waylen, the organization's vice president of government affairs.
Neville Gardner owns Red Stag and Donegal Square in Bethlehem. He luckily got a loan the first time around and is happy to see the changes.
"Without PPP last year and this year, and we're a very successful business, I'm not sure what we'd be doing," Gardner said.
There are other changes, too.
Business owners who have committed non-fraud felonies will finally be allowed to access loans for the first time, as well as those behind on student loan debt.
Also, non-citizen business owners will get a shot to apply - currently they are excluded.
"Even though I'm married to an American citizen it still took quite a bit to actually get approved for a green card. I mean, I paid taxes the whole time," Gardner said.
"I think you're missing the boat if you don't take advantage of it," Gardner said.