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How Two Start-ups Made a Fortune in Fees on P.P.P. Loans

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Also in late February, Blueacorn and Womply got an unexpected tailwind from a major rule change by the Small Business Administration, which oversaw the loan program. Concerned that women and minority-led businesses were being disproportionately left out, the Biden administration overhauled the loan formula to award sole proprietors — a group that includes contractors and gig workers — loans based on their reported revenue rather than profit. Overnight, millions more qualified for help. Drawn in by the marketing campaigns, they stampeded toward the two companies.By early March, “we were overrun with demand,” said Blueacorn’s Mr. Calhoun, a private equity veteran …

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