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The Paycheck Protection Program has returned, with some changes.

The program, designed to help small businesses to mitigate the economic damage caused by the pandemic, provides 100 percent federally guaranteed loans.

The newest version of the program started this week throughout all 50 states after the recent COVID-19 bill became law before the end of 2020.

It will be available  for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. According to program spokesmen, people should contact their local lenders if they have questions on eligibility.

According to the guidelines, borrowers are generally eligible for a second PPP loan if they used the previous loan for authorized uses, have no more than 300 employees and can show at least a 25 percent drop in gross receipts compared with similar periods in 2019 and 2020.

Some additions to the program allows borrowers to set the loan’s cover period from eight to 24 weeks in order to meet business needs. The loans can also be used to cover additional expenses, including operations expenditures, property damage costs, supplier costs and worker protection costs.

Eligibility now includes 501(c)(6)s, housing cooperatives, direct marketing organizations and others. It also allows more flexibility to handle seasonal workers.

In addition, certain existing PPP borrowers can request to modify their First Draw PPP Loan amount, while some existing PPP borrowers are now eligible to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan, according to program officials.

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