The White House remains confident that the program will have a significant amount of money remaining for other loans once the two-week period ends. Mr. Biden and his team have not called on Congress to push back the March 31 deadline.
Small business advocacy groups generally praised the changes. Shaundell Newsome, a co-chair of Small Business for America’s Future, called them “a win for America’s smallest businesses and those owned by people of color, far too many of whom were left behind by ill-conceived rules that favored larger businesses.”
Daniel Betancourt, the chief executive of Community First Fund in Lancaster, Pa., which is working on loans for about 300 companies, most of them minority-owned, was also enthusiastic. But Mr. Betancourt would like to see the March 31 deadline pushed back at least 60 days.
“We need time to let historically disenfranchised business owners know what’s now available,” he said.
For sole proprietors like Elisha Trice who have been bedeviled by delays, the formula change is a silver lining to a painful process.
Mr. Trice, an independent contractor in Florida who makes computer games, got a $2,000 loan last year and applied last month for a second loan. His application has been stalled for weeks, and now he can put it on hold until the new formula takes effect.
Mr. Trice, who lost his job at the start of the pandemic and is relying on his freelance work to support himself and his daughter, said the change could mean his next loan is more than $7,000.
“The fact I’ll be able to get more this time around is amazing,” he said.