Banks are expecting heavy demand for the new round of loans, as the virus continues to surge and restrictions on activity are reintroduced.
Credit…Mohamed Sadek for The New York Times

The Paycheck Protection Program reopens this week, and underserved borrowers — including women-led businesses and those run by Black, Latino and Asian owners and other minorities — will be first in line to tap the new funds, The New York Times’s Stacy Cowley reports.

Starting Monday, a group of specially designated institutions known as community lenders, which specialize in working with Black- and minority-owned small businesses, will begin accepting applications for new loans. The government said larger financial institutions and banks would begin processing loans “shortly.”

Giving community lenders a head start is intended to address complaints that the aid was not distributed equitably the last time around. Here are more details about the new program.

  • Borrowers were previously limited to just one loan, but the new funding will be available to both first-time and returning borrowers. Businesses will be eligible for a second loan if they suffered a sales drop of 25 percent or more in at least one quarter of 2020, compared with the previous year.

  • Second loans will be restricted to businesses with no more than 300 employees; initial loans are available to larger companies, generally those with up to 500 workers.

  • The Small Business Administration, which manages the program, said it would begin accepting applications on Monday from community lenders seeking loans for first-time borrowers. On Wednesday, those lenders will be able to submit applications from people seeking second-round loans.

  • The S.B.A. will no longer approve loan applications instantaneously, a move that previously allowed some borrowers to receive their loan funds just hours after they applied. Now approvals will generally take at least one day.

In the hours and days after a mob of President Trump’s loyalists stormed the Capitol, the nation’s biggest tech companies began to shut down accounts that helped incite the rampage. In the days and weeks before the attack, President Trump had used his Twitter feed and Facebook page to spread the lie that he had won the November election. It was that falsehood that helped drive the mob from to the Capitol last Wednesday after a speech by the president.

Facebook said the risks were too great to allow the president’s posts. Twitter followed suit. The focus shifted to Parler, a favorite app for right-wing figures. Citing posts on Parler that encouraged violence and crime, Apple and Google removed the app from their app stores. Then Amazon told Parler it would stop hosting it.

For Big Tech, the events of the past week raised tricky questions about politics, free speech and radicalization of people online.

How Parler, a Chosen App of Trump Fans, Became a Test of Free Speech

The app has renewed a debate about who holds power over online speech after the tech giants yanked their support for it and left it fighting for survival. Parler was set to go dark on Monday.

Stripped of Twitter, Trump Faces a New Challenge: How to Command Attention

The president became a celebrity through television, but Twitter had given him a singular outlet for expressing himself as he is, unfiltered by the norms of the office.

Amazon, Apple and Google Cut Off Parler, an App That Drew Trump Supporters

The companies pulled support for the “free speech” social network, all but killing the service just as many conservatives are seeking alternatives to Facebook and Twitter.

Twitter Permanently Bans Trump, Capping Online Revolt

The president’s preferred megaphone cited “the risk of further incitement of violence.” It acted after Facebook, Snapchat, Twitch and other platforms placed limits on him.

Facebook Bars Trump Through End of His Term

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, said the risks of Mr. Trump using the service were too great, even as Twitter lifted its lock on the president’s account.

In Pulling Trump’s Megaphone, Twitter Shows Where Power Now Lies

The ability of a handful of people to control our public discourse has never been more obvious, our columnist writes.

Nothing has stopped the stock market’s momentum over the last year: not the pandemic, not record unemployment and not the Capitol riot.

But don’t take that as a sign that the market is envisioning a calm and prosperous six months ahead, writes The New York Times’s Jeff Sommer. Instead, the rally simply reflects the greed of bullish investors. Here’s what’s fueling the high hopes:

  • Interest rates remain extraordinarily low, and the Federal Reserve and other central banks have said they are determined to keep short-term rates low. When rates are low, stocks and other risky assets are comparatively attractive.

  • The pandemic is the main cause of global economic troubles and it will eventually end. With vaccinations underway, Wall Street hopes that growth in most regions and sectors will surge later this year, along with rising corporate profits.

  • With Democrats sweeping the two contested Senate seats in Georgia, the chances of at least some further economic stimulus have increased. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. will most likely be able to deliver more aid to people in need and to local governments, which is expected to increase economic growth.

  • Truly sweeping legislative changes will be difficult, if not impossible, given the Democratic Party’s razor-thin margin in the Senate and reduced majority in the House. Some increased spending is likely, but this slim grip on power implies that big tax increases on wealthy investors and rich corporations may not happen soon.

  • The election may have delivered something close to a Goldilocks alignment for the stock market. Mr. Biden’s cabinet picks so far suggest that he will govern as a centrist, and the market historically has fared well under Democratic presidents who do not have sweeping control of Congress. The possibility that the Biden administration will usher in a more efficient and inclusive government, with more spending and only moderate changes otherwise, is seen as a sweet outcome for stocks.

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