Second round of funding for PPP includes $280 billion, focusing on smaller business

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Paycheck Protection Program is back, and this time it's recalibrated to help small businesses through smaller banks rather than helping huge corporations, which were criticized for seizing funds the first time around.

The new round of funding for PPP includes more than $280 billion. It's run by the Small Business Administration, which is promising this revival will be more accurately targeted to those who need it most.

With massive job losses and business closures linked to the pandemic, many small business owners who were able to join the program last year, before it ran out of money, credit PPP with saving their livelihoods.

Alan Bergeron owns two Shipley Do-Nuts franchise locations near the University of Houston. He said without his PPP loan, he likely would not have been able to keep both stores open or keep all of his employees on board.

"It was really necessary for me to get a PPP loan in order to keep my doors open, and in order to keep my employees working," Bergeron said.

With the program's 2021 revival, Bergeron said he believes he meets the new guidelines and plans to reapply as he waits for business to return to normal. Bergeron said he was so satisfied with the help he got last year, he's recommending it to several other small business owners.

"I have advised other businesses to do so the first time around. I would do it again this time around as well. A lot of the time, the small businesses out there may be a mom and pop businesses, and they feel like they can't get it done or they don't know how to get it done or they feel like they're too small or don't have the structure. But the SBA and Congress did a good job of putting this together," he said.

The SBA has indicated that smaller, more community-based financial institutions will get first priority in distributing the new round of loans as opposed to larger banks. The goal is to specifically help minority-owned businesses and those in lower-income areas first.

"Obviously, there are people out there that could not weather the storm and I'm very grateful for the opportunity to be able to do so," Bergeron said. "There's no loss in trying."

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