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The Trump administration is expanding Paycheck Protection Program loan eligibility among small business owners with past felony convictions.

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The Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration announced that they had changed the eligibility threshold for individuals with felony criminal histories – reducing the lookback period from five years to one year for nonfinancial felonies.

Pretrial diversion status has also been removed as a factor affecting eligibility.

PPP LOAN FORGIVENESS AND PAYROLL: CAN YOU GIVE YOURSELF A RAISE?

The lookback period stands at five years for financial felonies like fraud, bribery, embezzlement, making false statements on a loan application or an application for federal assistance.

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On Friday, Democratic lawmakers also called on the administration to simplify the PPP loan forgiveness application, which they believe needs to be streamlined and simplified in order to make sure small business owners can complete it without having to hire a professional.

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Some of the changes lawmakers want to see implemented include a separate, easy-to-use form for low-dollar-loan amount recipients that would require minimal documentation; the issuance of new safe harbor protections for lenders regarding borrower certifications; the creation of a suite of online tools to guide business owners through the application process; and the establishment of a call center staffed with individuals who can answer borrower's and lender's questions.

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