Thinking about applying for funds for your small business in the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program? Amy Naples offers this advice: “Do it now.”

“I recommend that you act quickly,” said the executive director of the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce. “There is a lot less money in this round. If your business truly needs funding, if you are truly struggling, do it now.”

Small businesses need to act quickly to get PPP2 loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The U.S. Small Business Administration rolled out “PPP2” – as the plan is colloquially called – last week with $284 billion through the federal Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act. That’s $65 billion less than offered in the first round last year.

In round two, about $7 billion is available for Massachusetts small businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. That money is being sourced to community banks and other financial institutions so area companies can apply for loans to keep their workforce on the job during the resultant financial crisis. Extra effort is being made to ensure minority, underserved, veteran and women-owned businesses have access to these funds.

Even though there is less money in the pot this time, getting funding should be easier than the last round, especially if you applied the first time. The loans can be used to fund payroll costs, including benefits, and may also be used for mortgage interest, rent, utilities and worker protection costs related to COVID-19, as well as certain supplier expenses for operations.

“It was like the Wild West the first time,” said Robert H. Nelson, Massachusetts district director for the SBA. “We ran out of money. We’re more prepared now, so it should be more controlled this time. We have a good team in Massachusetts ready to assist small businesses with any questions or concerns.”