The Small Business Administration has issued a final rule outlining procedures for appealing final SBA Paycheck Protection Program loan review decisions to its Office of Hearings and Appeals. The final rule mostly adopts the procedures established in a previously issued interim final rule from August 2020, with minor changes. Most significantly, under the final rule, a timely appeal by a PPP borrower of a final SBA loan review decision will extend the deferment period of the PPP loan. Previously, a timely appeal did not result in deferral of payment under the PPP loan.
Under the final rule, borrowers have 30 days to appeal their loan review decision. The rule specified that “the clock for counting days will begin only after the borrower has received the actual final SBA loan review decision document.” The final rule also made several additional changes to streamline the appeal filing process.
In related news, the Government Accountability Office issued a report earlier this week that concluded that changes in the PPP led to increased lending to the smallest businesses and in underserved locations. Specifically, as a result of a series of changes that Congress and the SBA made to the PPP since its inception, “[b]y the time PPP closed in June 2021, lending in traditionally underserved counties was proportional to their representation in the overall small business community…while lending to businesses with fewer than 10 employees remained disproportionately low, it increased significantly over the course of the program.”