WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Thousands of small businesses across the country have applied or are applying for small business assistance loans today after the federal government passed a $2 trillion coronavirus relief program.
One local business owner said, if approved, this Paycheck Protection Program will give her employees some well-needed assurance.
Shauna LaRocque is one of countless business owners thinking innovatively to keep her business afloat as well as her employees paid but with her doors closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, that is proving to be quite a challenge.
“This is normally our field trip season and it is the time of the year where we have the most revenue, so having to be closed is gonna end up costing us probably when it is all said and done about $50,000 in revenue,” LaRocque said.
That’s why LaRocque is among thousands of business owners applying for the Paycheck Protection Program which allows small businesses ranging from sole proprietors and freelancers to companies with up to 500 employees, to cover their payroll costs.
“Knowing that during this time, that’s not only scary for me but also scary for them, that they have some assurance that they can still pay their bills,” LaRocque said.
Owner of The Loft Marketplace Sarah Williams agreed and since the loan also allows owners to pay for most mortgage interest, rent and utility costs over the eight week period after the loan is made, she is ensuring her application is filed.
“Every month that goes by that we are closed is like $6,000 of just those expenses aside from everything else,” Williams said. “If we have to come out of our pocket for all of that for we don’t know how long, that would prevent some businesses from being able to reopen again.
The loans provide for deferred payments and offer the prospect of forgiveness if the money is used to retain workers or hire back those who have been laid off.
Both LaRocque and Williams encourage small business owners to take advantage of the opportunity.
The deadline to apply is June 30.
The Small Business Development Center at MSU is available to answer questions from small business owners regarding the program at 940-252-4471 or email them at Msusbdc@msutexas.edu.