Biden to boost pandemic lending to smallest businesses

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President Joe Biden speaks to member of the media after exiting Air Force One, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is targeting federal pandemic assistance to the nation’s smallest businesses and taking steps to further equity in what is known as the Paycheck Protection Program.

Read: Other coronavirus relief options

The administration is establishing a two-week window, starting on Wednesday, in which only businesses with fewer than 20 employees can apply for the forgivable loans. Such businesses are the majority of small businesses in the U.S.

Biden’s team is also carving out $1 billion to direct toward sole proprietors, such as home contractors and beauticians, the majority of which are owned by women and people of color.

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