As communities across the country continue to struggle with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, good news has surfaced as the Small Business Administration (SBA) announces the rollout of another round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding. As part of the new $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill, the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act (Economic Aid Act), Congress authorized this round of PPP funding, which is available beginning Monday, January 11, 2021 for certain small businesses. These funds are intended for new and smaller borrowers and for borrowers in low- and moderate-income communities.
Unfortunately, this new PPP aid is shadowed by significant fraud with loan proceeds going to ineligible borrowers from aid authorized at the beginning of the pandemic. In March of 2020, The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and subsequent act authorized up to $659 billion for PPP. This relief package was signed into law to provide small businesses with the resources they need to maintain their payroll, hire back employees who may have been laid off, and cover applicable overhead during the pandemic. As with other federal relief programs, fraudsters were eagerly waiting to get their hands on this badly needed support.