How to Apply for the Paycheck Protection Program, a Step-by-Step Guide

As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, $350 billion of government aid has been allocated to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, this initiative provides federally guaranteed loans to small businesses.

The Payroll Protection Program (PPP) can grant a loan size that is 1 percent of 2.5 times a small business’ monthly payroll — up to 10 million dollars. This loan is 100 percent guaranteed by the federal government, no collateral or personal guarantees necessary. Additionally, loans are forgiven if businesses keep all of their workers.

Below we will walk through how to apply for this loan program, as well as what the entry requirements are to apply.

Requirements to Apply

To apply for government aid, your business or self-employment must:

  • Have been in operation on February 15, 2020
  • Employ fewer than 500 employees (or fewer than 1,500 employees for select types of
  • Be affected by COVID-19

Eligible businesses can now apply for loans through existing SBA lenders. By submitting an application,
you must certify that:

  • Current economic uncertainty makes the loan necessary to support your ongoing operations
  • The funds will be used to retain workers and maintain payroll or to make mortgage, lease, and
    utility payments
  • You have not and will not receive another loan under this program

View the full list of requirements to see if your business is eligible.

Option 1: Apply with your bank

Many banks are requiring loan customers to already have
existing business-banking relationships in order to apply
for a PPP or EIDL SBA loan. As such, leveraging
community banks or credit unions may be a better route
for smaller businesses who do not have existing banking

Option 2: Find an SBA Community Bank taking new customers

If you don’t currently have a banking relationship, try
contacting a community bank or credit union in your area
that participates in SBA loans. See our compiled compiled list of African American controlled banks and lenders that are accepting new customers and are equipped to process PPP loans quickly.

List of Black Controlled Banks Equipped to Process PPP Loans


For churches, sole proprietors, and those who prefer an
online option, you can select one of the non-bank firms
listed below:

MBE Capital Partners (MBECP)

MBECP, a certified minority company, can help you access PPP loans faster through its online application and underwriting process. Focused on providing financial services to the Minority Community for over 21 years, MBECP understands the importance of access to cash flow for nonprofits and small businesses. Apply immediately at

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