Commentary: Job-saving funds still available via PPP

By Steve Bulger

With every phone call, videoconference and socially distant meeting I’ve attended across the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Mid-Atlantic Region, it is clear to me — entrepreneurship is alive and well, despite what we’re all going through these days. This is in no small part due to the passion and drive of small businessowners and their employees. That grit and determination to survive and thrive makes me proud to serve the American people.

I’m also proud these businesses have been helped by billions of dollars in potentially forgivable loans through the Payroll Protection Program, saving more than 51 million jobs that might have disappeared as we deal with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

It gives businessowners making payroll and paying other bills time to breathe and figure out their next steps. I’m encouraged by places like the West Virginia thread manufacturer pivoting to make elastic to meet the booming demand for face masks and a small Pennsylvania education software developer adapting its products to help parents around the world educate their children as we observed stay-at-home orders.

On July 4,President Donald Trump signed into law an extension of the commitments of the PPP, giving entrepreneurs until Saturday, Aug. 8 to access $130 billion-plus in funds remaining. As that date rapidly approaches, I encourage all businessowners (employers and sole proprietors alike) who haven’t yet applied to consider doing so.

I understand the process can seem intimidating for businessowners who are more comfortable rebuilding a transmission or baking hundreds of loaves of bread every day, but you’re not alone. Small Business Development Centers and other SBA resource partners across the country are online and waiting to assist you. Find one at sba.gov/local-assistance. When you’re ready to apply, you can locate a PPP lender through the SBA’s Lender Match (sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/lender-match) or by visiting sba.gov for a listing of PPP participating lenders.

The SBA isn’t just about getting you access to capital, we can also help you navigate the recovery process and the market in general. Check out the list of online resources for creating a recovery plan or writing a business plan with the crisis management section that can be your road map for any rough spot you might face in the future, along with other helpful training to take a small business to the next level: sba.gov/learning-center.

We’re all in this together. Let the SBA help you today, just like we’ve done for 67 years.

Steve Bulger was appointed regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Atlantic Region II in January 2018. In addition, Mr. Bulger was appointed acting regional administrator for Mid-Atlantic Region III in September 2019.