The federal Paycheck Protection Program has been modified to give more help to businesses with fewer than 20 employees.

For two weeks beginning Wednesday, small businesses that want to apply for the loans will be the only applications accepted for the program. Some eligibility rules have also changed that allow self-employed, sole proprietors and independent contractors who were previously excluded or could receive only small loans will now be able to utilize the program.

The program, administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration, provides loans to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the pandemic crisis. Borrowers may also be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness.

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