Square Capital, a crypto-friendly payment firm founded by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, is purportedly among the first Bitcoin (BTC)-related companies joining the United States federal emergency lending program.
The firm has received U.S. Treasury and Small Business Administration (SBA) approval to become a lender under the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Square to start rolling out PPP applications this week
By obtaining approval, Square is officially authorized to support small businesses by providing them with low-interest loans that can be 100% forgiven if used to cover approved costs.
Jackie Reses, head of Square Capital, tweeted April 13 that the firm will start rolling out their PPP loan applications this week in collaboration with their existing SBA lending partner, Celtic Bank.
Reses added that the firm is committed to expanding funding to as many small businesses as possible, tweeting:
“We will notify sellers when their application is available via Square Dashboard, starting with employers whose application data we can verify automatically. We expect to expand access to more small businesses soon.”
Fintech firms were struggling to join PPP
Number of fintech firms have been lobbying for weeks to be able to participate in the U.S. government’s emergency lending program for small businesses. Although Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin reportedly claimed that nontraditional financial services firms would be accepted to the program, mainstream companies were apparently still prioritized.
Square joins PPP together with PayPal and Intuit
As such, Square’s entrance to the PPP apparently marks an important milestone for the role of fintechs during the ongoing economic turmoil. Dorsey’s crypto-friendly app joined the stimulus program alongside payment giant PayPal and software giant Intuit, as TechCrunch reported on April 13.
The news comes after Square’s Cash App introduced routing numbers to enable people who did not file tax returns to accept stimulus checks directly on the app. On April 7, Dorsey himself launched a new fund to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, donating 28% of his wealth to the fund.