What Was Third-Round Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Funding

Program to help employees and keep businesses afloat with a new forgivable loan

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA), signed into law by President Donald Trump on Dec. 27, 2020, included new funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which expired Aug. 8, 2020. The PPP was created by the CARES Act and originally included $349 billion in funding. However, that money was gone within two weeks, resulting in the second round of funding totaling $320 billion.

After round two loans ended in August of 2020, the CAA authorized the third round of PPP loans. However, those funds were depleted, and as of May 31, 2021, the PPP program was no longer available.

Key Takeaways

  • A third round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans was authorized by the passage of H.R. 133: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 into law on Dec. 27, 2020.
  • First-Draw PPP loans were available for the lesser of $10 million or 2.5 times a company's average monthly payroll.
  • Second-Draw loans up to $2 million were available for businesses that had used funds in their Round 1 or Round 2 loan.
  • 100% of a PPP loan could be forgiven if guidelines were followed.
  • Passage of the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020 relaxed many PPP loan guidelines.
  • Passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act provided additional funding and even more relaxed guidelines.
  • Changes made by the Biden administration provided targeted assistance to very small businesses and previously underserved individuals.
  • Passage of the PPP Extension Act on March 30, 2021, provided further guidance and deadline extension.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) remained available but the PPP loan program closed May 31, 2021.

Feb. 24, 2021

Starting date for a 14-day period, ordered by the Biden administration, during which only businesses with fewer than 20 employees could apply for a PPP loan.

Round three funding of $284 billion expanded on the original PPP goals of providing loans to businesses for payroll and other costs to help them remain viable and allow their workers to pay their bills. The table below outlines all three rounds of PPP loan funding.

Round Legislation Funding Expiration
1 H.R. 748 - CARES Act $349 billion Apr. 16, 2020
2 H.R. 266 - PPP and Health Care Enhancement Act $310 billion Aug. 8, 2020
3 H.R. 133 - Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 $284 billion May 31, 2021

Sources: H.R. 748, H.R. 266, H.R. 133

Changes to the PPP Program Announced by the Biden Administration

The Whitehouse announced, Feb. 22, 2021, five changes to the Paycheck Protection Program, one with a set term of two weeks, the other four effective until at least the end of March 2021. These changes were designed to make PPP funds available to very small businesses and others who had been inadequately helped by the program, according to the Biden administration.

  • Beginning Wed., Feb. 24, 2021 through Tue. March 9, 2021, businesses with fewer than 20 employees were permitted to apply for PPP funding.
  • The formula used to calculate PPP loans was revised to provide more funding for sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals. An additional $1 billion was allocated for these individuals in low-and moderate-income (LMI) areas.
  • Eligibility for PPP funding was extended to small business owners with non-fraud related felonies as long as the applicant was not incarcerated at the time of the application.
  • Business owners with delinquent federal student loans were eligible for a PPP loan.
  • Non-citizens who were lawful U.S. residents were also eligible and allowed to use their Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to apply.

First-Draw vs. Second-Draw Loans

The CAA provided for two types of round three PPP loans, initial or first-draw loans up to $10 million, for entities that have never received a PPP loan, and second-draw loans up to $2 million for entities that had.

Following guidance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Treasury Department, community financial institutions including Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) began making first-draw PPP loans on Mon., Jan. 11, and second-draw loans on Wed., Jan. 13. Small lenders with less than $1 billion in assets were slated to begin making both first- and second-draw loans on Fri., Jan. 15, and all approved PPP lenders were able to begin lending on Tues., Jan. 19, 2021.

Sources: H.R. 748, H.R. 266, and H.R. 133.

PPP Round 3 General Terms and Conditions

As a refresher, both first- and second-draw PPP loans were subject (but not limited) to the same general terms and conditions as original PPP loans under the CARES Act, including:

  • Loans were 100% guaranteed by the government.
  • No collateral was required.
  • No personal guarantees were required.
  • The interest rate for all loans was 1% and maturity was five years.

PPP Round 3 Eligibile Entities

While there were key differences between first- and second-draw PPP loans, the list of types of eligible entities was the same.

  • Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees (300 or fewer for second-draw loans);
  • Businesses categorized under "Accommodation or Food Services," such as restaurants and hotels with 500 or fewer employees per location (300 or fewer for second draw loans);
  • Independently owned franchises;
  • Self-employed workers, independent contractors, gig workers, and sole proprietors;
  • 501(c)(3) businesses or tax-exempt nonprofit organizations; tax-exempt 501(c)(19) veterans organizations; 31(b)(2)(C) tribal business concerns;
  • Housing cooperatives; eligible section 501(c)(6) organizations, or eligible destination marketing organizations with 300 or fewer employees; and
  • News organizations that are majority-owned or controlled by a NAICS code 511110 or 5151 business or a nonprofit public broadcasting entity with a trade or business under NAICS 511110 or 5151 with 500 or fewer employees.
  • In addition, the business must have been in operation on Feb. 15, 2020.

Additional Second-Draw Requirements

Second-draw PPP loans had some restrictions that first-draw loans didn't. Businesses couldn't receive a second-draw loan of up to $2 million unless they met the following conditions:

  • Had received and used (or expected to use) all proceeds from the first-draw loan by the time you received (or expected to receive) the second-draw loan proceeds.
  • Had 300 or fewer employees.
  • Could demonstrate that you experienced a loss of at least 25% of gross receipts in any quarter during 2020 compared to the same quarter in 2019.
  • Spent all proceeds from your first-draw loan on eligible expenses.

Second-Draw Borrower Exclusions

Round 3 guidelines had excluded you from a second-draw loan if your company was:

  • Permanently closed.
  • Ineligible under existing SBA regulations;
  • Primarily engaged in lobbying or other political activities;
  • Owned by an entity created in, or with significant operations in, the People's Republic of China or the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong;
  • Included a board member who was a resident of the People's Republic of China;
  • A recipient of a shuttered venue operator grant under Section 24 of the Act.

Required Certifications for PPP Loans

Businesses were required to certify that the pandemic-related economic uncertainty made the loan request necessary to support ongoing operations and that funds were to be used as required, including no more than 40% for non-payroll costs. This requirement applied to both first- and second-draw PPP loans.

Special New Set-Aside Funding

Round 3 included special set-aside funding for specific groups of first- and second-draw borrowers.

  • $15 billion for lending by community financial institutions;
  • $15 billion for lending by Insured Depository Institutions, Credit Unions, and Farm Credit System Institutions with consolidated assets of less than $10 billion;
  • $35 billion for new first-draw PPP borrowers; and
  • $15 billion and $25 billion for first-draw and second-draw PPP loans for borrowers with 10 employees or fewer, or for loans of less than $250,000 to borrowers in low-or moderate-income neighborhoods.

Application Dates for a Round 3 PPP Loan

As noted above, applications for Round 3 first draw PPP loans from approved community financial institutions started Mon., Jan. 11, 2021. Second draw applications began on Wed., Jan. 13, followed by first- and second-draw loans from small lenders with less than $1 billion in assets on Fri., Jan. 15, 2021. All SBA 7(a) lenders were approved to accept first and second draw applications starting on Tues., Jan. 19, 2021.

Round 3 PPP Application Deadline

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA) extended the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) through March 31, 2021 or until funds ran out. PPP funds were exhausted as of May 31, 2021, meaning the PPP program was no longer available as of that date.

The amount of funds made available in the third round totaled $284 billion. Maximum loans of $10 million were available to first-draw borrowers, and loans up to $2 million were offered to second-draw, small business owners.

On March 30, 2021, President Biden signed the Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act, which gave applicants until May 31, 2021, to apply for a PPP loan, extended the covered period to June 30, 2021, and gave lenders until that date to process loans.

Application Process for a Round 3 PPP Loan

New first- and second-draw loans followed a pattern similar to that followed with previous PPP loans. Business owners could download and fill out the loan application from the SBA website. The first-draw application was five pages long, including instructions, and the second-draw application was six pages, including instructions.

Covered Period for Round 3 PPP

Round 1 and Round 2 PPP loans stipulated that the time during which you had to use your loan proceeds (covered period) would be an eight-week period beginning on the date you received your loan proceeds. That was later expanded to 24 weeks.

Round 3 allowed you to choose any length period between eight weeks and 24 weeks, giving you more control over how to handle reductions in your workforce, if needed, once PPP funds were depleted.


The percentage of both first- and second-draw PPP loans that had to be used for payroll expenses.

Use of Round 3 PPP Funds

The CAA expanded the types of expenses for which you could use Round 3 PPP funds. This also applied to existing PPP loan funds (unless you had already obtained forgiveness). In addition to payroll, rent, covered mortgage interest, and utilities, the Paycheck Protection Program allowed you to use loan proceeds for:

  • Certain operations expenses including business software; business-related cloud computing services; product or service delivery; payroll processing, payment, and tracking costs; HR and billing functions; tracking of supplies, inventory, records, and expenses
  • Covered property damage costs including costs related to damage or vandalism caused by looting or public disturbances in 2020 that were not covered by insurance or other compensation
  • Listed supplier costs including payments to a supplier of goods that were essential to operations and made pursuant to a contract or order in effect at any time before the covered period or, with respect to perishable goods, in effect at any time during the covered period
  • Covered worker protection expenses including operating or capital expenditures required to comply with requirements or guidance issued by the CDC, HHS, OSHA, or any state or local government during the period beginning March 1, 2020, and ending on the date when the national emergency expired

Tax Treatment of Round 3 PPP Loans

Round 3 PPP loans were not included in your company's taxable income. If your loan was forgiven, expenses paid with the proceeds of your loan were tax-deductible. Further, this rule applied to new, existing, and previous PPP loans. In addition, any income tax basis increase that resulted from your PPP loan remained even if the PPP loan was eventually forgiven.

What was the total amount of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program loans?

A total of $984 billion in funding was provided for PPP loans. This consisted of $349 billion appropriated by the CARES Act, $310 billion from the PPP and Health Care Enhancement Act, and $284 billion from the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA).

Are PPP loans still available?

The Paycheck Protection Program ended May 31, 2021 after all funding was exhausted. To date there have been no further allocations to the PPP.

Were Round 3 PPP loans to be used exclusively for payroll?

No. PPP loan recipients could use up to 40% of loan proceeds for non-payroll costs, although the list of authorized uses did limit non-payroll spending.

Article Sources

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. U.S. Congress. "H.R.133 - Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021."

  2. SBA.gov. "Paycheck Protection Program."

  3. U.S. Congress. "H.R. 748."

  4. U.S. Congress. "H.R.266 - Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act."

  5. Whitehouse.gov. "FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Increases Lending to Small Businesses in Need, Announces Changes to PPP to Further Promote Equitable Access to Relief."

  6. Small Business Administration. "60,000 Paycheck Protection Program Loans Approved in First Week."

  7. Small Business Administration. "SBA Re-Opening Paycheck Protection Program to Small Lenders on Friday, January 15 and All Lenders on Tuesday, January 19."

  8. Small Business Administration. "Business Loan Program Temporary Changes; Paycheck Protection Program as Amended by Economic Aid Act," Pages 13–14.

  9. Small Business Administration. "Business Loan Program Temporary Changes; Paycheck Protection Program Second Draw Loans."

  10. Small Business Administration. "Guidance on Accessing Capital for Minority, Underserved, Veteran and Women-Owned Business Concerns."

  11. U.S. Congress. "H.R.1799 - PPP Extension Act of 2021."

  12. Small Business Administration. "Paycheck Protection Program Borrower Application Form Revised January 8, 2021."

  13. Small Business Administration. "Paycheck Protection Program Second Draw Borrower Application Form."

  14. Congressman Robert B. Aderholt. "Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act."

  15. CPA Journal. "Tax Changes for Businesses in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021."

  16. U.S. Small Business Administration. "With $349 Billion in Emergency Small Business Capital Cleared, SBA and Treasury Begin Unprecedented Public-Private Mobilization Effort to Distribute Funds."

  17. U.S. Small Business Administration. "Paycheck Protection Program."

  18. U.S. Small Business Administration. "Overview of PPP Loan Forgiveness," Page 15.

Take the Next Step to Invest
The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where listings appear. Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace.