On Friday, the Labor Department published an outline of a pilot program to offer loans, direct-pay training, and other forms of assistance to companies with fewer than 100 employees, which may be in trouble paying wages. The announcement came from the director of the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, Patricia Shiu, and the chair of the Small Business Administration’s Independent Business Advisory Council, Tom J. Corbett. The council has met on several occasions in recent months to discuss ways to increase the number of companies eligible for the proposed pilot program.

Under the program, called The Business Independence and Entrepreneurship Training Program (BIETP), labor departments and Small Business Administration offices around the country will each determine which cities, states, and counties they believe would be appropriate for the pilot program. With one caveat: That company must be hiring a new worker and thus essentially starting from zero.

Other steps the Labor Department has taken recently include the announcement earlier this month that it is working with the Small Business Administration to make training and budget support more accessible to workers who are currently in the country illegally.