COVID-19 relief options and additional resources

PPP Save Over 51 Million Jobs

Release Date: 
Thursday, July 23, 2020
Release Number: 

By Ashley D. Bell, U.S. Small Business Administration’s Southeast regional administrator and an entrepreneurship policy adviser for the White House Opportunity & Revitalization Council.

Note: This is an excerpt from an Op-Ed written by Mr. Bell during his visit to North Carolina in July 2020

Entrepreneurship is still very alive as a vibrant part of the American dream in urban and rural communities across the 50 states. Our nation’s businesses have received millions of loans through the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), saving more than 51 million American jobs this year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.  

In May and June, a total of 700,000 African American workers nationally are now well on their way to gaining ground in this recovering economy. If this astounding trend continues, over 1 million jobs for African Americans will be added by the end of 2020. There are also refreshing employment numbers for Hispanics and women from June reports: Hispanic employment is up by 1.5 million with a 3.1 % unemployment decrease; and 3 million more jobs were offered and employed by women.  

The SBA is proudly advancing its recovery mission of empowering entrepreneurs with tools and resources through the super-connecting help of governors, mayors, community leaders, music influencers, media, citizens, activists, clergy, bankers, businesses — large and small. We have reached out to businesses with under 500 employees as well as independent contractors. Their excellent individualistic perseverance reminds me of a belief by the late Booker T. Washington, who still inspires me today, that “success waits patiently for anyone who has the determination and strength to seize it.”

Let us continue to work together toward economic recovery. With the leadership of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza, Congress and President Trump, S. 4116 was signed into law on July 4. This bill extends for the commitments of the PPP, giving entrepreneurs until Aug. 8 to access the remaining $100 billion-plus in funds remaining. I encourage all entrepreneurs who have not yet applied to quickly take advantage of the recovery dollars available to them now.  

If businesses need assistance in applying for the PPP, a great resource is available to all entrepreneurs is the Small Business Development Centers across the country. They can assist you virtually. Find a list of SBA resource partners like the SBDC at

If you are ready to apply, you can locate a PPP lender either through the SBA’s Lender Match ( or by visiting for a complete listing of COVID-19 resources for small businesses, including a listing of PPP participating lenders.   

The SBA is an invaluable resource for you as we work together through the recovery process. Please contact  the SBA and take advantage of the opportunities the PPP may offer you during these challenging times.