How to get stimulus: Small business loans, grants, and taxes


After months of negotiations, Congress struck a $900 billion stimulus deal, including $325 billion for small businesses and a continuation of the Paycheck Protection Program, with revisions from the last round which closed in August.

The deal allocates money for specific kinds of business owners and industries, including $15 billion in grants for entertainment venues and theaters affected by mandated closures during the pandemic. 

Business Insider reviewed the nearly 5,600-page bill and talked with experts to help you navigate how to take full advantage of its benefits for your business. 

Watch: How business owners can make the most of PPP

What you need to know about PPP loans

This time around, PPP is a little different. The stimulus targets the smallest firms. It’s opened up to nonprofits, put an emphasis on the service sector, and has a focus on low-income communities. Experts say the guidance around PPP loans is clearer this time around, as legislators have worked out many of the kinks of the CARES Act. But with new eligibility and forgiveness requirements added, the language is more complex, so both lenders and borrowers will need to be diligent in understanding how it applies to their businesses.

Read more:

PPP is back — and yes, you should apply for a 2nd loan 

4 things business owners can do right now to prepare for the next round of PPP loan applications

Business owners can get a 2nd PPP loan if they meet 6 criteria

Changes in the second round

During the first round of stimulus in April, several large companies and franchises received backlash for taking PPP loans. Many small-business owners were concerned large, revenue-generating companies received aid that was meant for them. In this second stimulus bill, legislators narrowed down who qualifies in an effort to address this issue. While first-time PPP applicants may have 500 or fewer employees, those applying for a second time must have 300 or fewer. 

Read more:

5 changes to PPP loans that will affect your business’ eligibility

How restaurant owners can cash in on PPP loans and get up to 3.5 times their monthly payroll

3 ways to access the $117 billion in stimulus funding for minority businesses and those with 10 or fewer employees

PPP UPDATE: Women, veterans, and BIPOC business owners will get first dibs on stimulus funds

Grants for independent entertainment venues 

The stimulus bill outlines a new $15 billion program, Grants for Shuttered Venue Operators, which gives up to $10 million in aid for live music venues, theaters, producers, performing arts organizations, promoters, museums, and talent representatives. Unlike the PPP loans, these funds are grants that do not require repayment or forgiveness, and they are entirely new from the CARES Act of the spring.

Read more: How live music venues, theaters, and talent managers can get up to $10 million of $15 billion covid relief grants — with no requirement to pay it back



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