President Joe Biden is targeting federal pandemic aid to the nation’s smallest businesses and is taking steps toward further equity in what is known as a paycheck protection program.

The administration is setting a two-week window, starting on Wednesday, in which businesses with fewer than 20 employees – the overwhelming majority of small businesses – can apply for forgiveness loans. Biden’s team is also carving out $ 1 billion toward sole proprietors, such as house contractors and beauticians, most of which are owned by women and people of color.

Other efforts would lift the ban on lending to a person with at least 20% ownership in a company, who was arrested in the prior year for unlawful felony, as well as his federal student for getting relief through the program Those left behind on loan were allowed. The administration is also clarifying that non-citizens can apply to the legal resident program.

The PPP, rolled out early in the first coronovirus epidemic and renewed in December, was intended to help keep Americans employed during the economic downturn. This allows small and medium-sized businesses to use federal loans to withstand revenue losses, which are payable if 60% of the debt is spent on payroll and balances on other eligible expenses.

The Biden effort aims to correct inequalities in how the program was administered by the Trump administration.

President Joe Biden remarks at a virtual event organized by the Munich Security Conference in the East Room of the White House on February 19, 2021 in Washington, DC, DC (Photo by Anna Moneymaker-Pool / Getty Images)

Data from the Paycheck Protection Program released on December 1 and analysis by the Associated Press shows that many minority owners desperate for relief loans did not get one until the last few weeks of the PPP, while many more white business owners previously obtained loans. Were able to do the program.

The program, which began on April 3 and ended on August 8 and provided $ 525 billion worth of 5.2 million loans, helped many businesses stay on their feet when government measures to control coronavirus shut down many at reduced capacity Or forced to operate.

Latest ppp, Which started on 11 January And runs through the end of March, having already repaid $ 133.5 billion in debt – nearly half of the $ 284 billion allocated by Congress – with an average debt of $ 74,000.

Another renewal of the program is not included in Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan”, which he hopes Congress will pass in the coming weeks.

related: Paycheck Security Program: PPP Loan Portal Reopens Between COVID-19 Epidemic