Paycheck Protection Program written on notepad

What’s the Deal With the PPP Head Start Provision?

3 min read • Jan 15, 2021 • Lendio

UPDATE: The PPP loan application period ended May 31, 2021. Learn about financing options available for small businesses today at

When Congress revitalized the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), we cheered. Finally, business owners would once again be able to access vital capital to help their businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic. The exciting reboot included provisions to better support BIPOC-owned businesses and other underserved businesses.

One of those provisions allowed underserved businesses priority access to funding by opening applications early. We’re thrilled about the new rule, but like all early rollouts with PPP, there have been some hiccups due to a lack of guidance (it turns out that it’s hard to roll out changes to a massive, federal support program in about a week’s time). 

If you’re experiencing frustration and confusion, we hear you. We feel you. Here’s what we know so far. 

How Does It Work?

Currently, applications are limited to Community Development Financial Institutions (CFDIs). We’ve partnered with some CFDIs this time around, and we’d like to give special props to DreamSpring, a CFDI partner who is doing great work to help underserved businesses secure funding. 

Can Business Owners’ Indicate Their Demographic on the Application?

No. We know that can be disappointing to hear, but there’s currently no way to report it. The SBA isn’t requesting demographic information.

We’re sorry. We know this may be frustrating. This is a situation where legal protections that previously worked to reduce the chance that a business owner would experience discrimination may be a hurdle preventing your business from being identified for funding.

When Will the Head Start Application Period End?

Applications were limited to CFDIs through Thursday, January 14. On Friday, January 15, 2021, lenders with less than $1 billion in funding will be able to submit borrower applications. The SBA will fully open applications starting next Tuesday, January 19, 2021. 

We will continue to tell you what we know as soon as we know it. We promise that we will fight hard to help your business secure funding whether it’s this week or next. We’re in your corner. 

Ready to take the next step toward PPP funding? Apply now.


Lendio strives to provide you with the most current information as it relates to the Paycheck Protection Program, related SBA programs, and relevant regulations. The rules and regulations governing these programs are being regularly clarified by the SBA, and other agencies. In some cases, the provided guidance may directly conflict with other competing guidance, laws, rules, or regulations. Due to these changes, Lendio cannot guarantee that the information contained in this page reflects new changes or updates.
Lendio advises you to review the SBA guidelines and regulations on your own and determine your Company’s best approach to receiving SBA loans. Lendio urges you to consult your own attorneys, lawyers, and consultants to make the best decision possible. The information contained herein should not be construed as legal or tax advice, and should not be relied upon as such.



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