A Maryland storeowner sued the Small Business Administration, alleging the agency exceeded its statutory authority when it decided to limit the availability of pandemic relief loans to business owners with a criminal record.

The lawsuit was filed by the New Civil Liberties Alliance on behalf of Altimont Mark Wilks, who was barred from receiving a Paycheck Protection Program loan due to being on probation stemming from a 2004 felony conviction. The PPP, established in the CARES Act (Public Law 116-136), has facilitated hundreds of billions in government-backed forgivable loans intended to keep small businesses afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.

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