eWASHINGTON - The Small Business Administration has launched the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program to help small business owners keep their employees on the payroll and to help cover operating expenses.

Job retention is Priority One under the program.

Small businesses are eligible for a loan upwards of $10 million for payroll and certain other expenses. 

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If all employees are kept on payroll for eight weeks, the SBA will forgive the portion of the loans used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Up to 100 percent of the loan is forgivable, according to the SBA.

Find out more information on this program here.

Businesses – including eligible non-profits, veterans organizations, tribal concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors described in the Small Business Act – with 500 or fewer employees may apply.

Businesses in certain industries may have more than 500 employees if they meet the SBA’s size standards for those industries.

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are also eligible to apply for disaster assistance.

Enhanced Debt Relief is also available in SBA’s other business loan programs to help small businesses overcome the challenges created by this health crisis.

Further information is available online at sba.gov