Relief program launched to save small businesses

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)— While folks are still trying to find the balance between health and safety and keeping a strong local economy, small business owners are now being thought of by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 

Some small business owners could receive $5,000 if they are eligible for the Save Small Business grant.

“We need to look at every resource we possibly can,” Web Fire Communication President Ripley Tate said.

Tate is the president of Web Fire Communication, an internet, telephone and technology service that is also feeling the effects of COVID-19.

“It has certainly impacted us negatively in that a lot of our clients have been negatively impacted and cannot afford to pay their bills and so forth,” Tate said.

This then creates a domino effect.

“As a facilities based CLEC phone company, we are ordered under the FCC and we participate with their Keep America Connected pledge which basically says we won’t disconnect or charge late fees during this time,” Tate said.

And so, Tate said the company has seen a 25% decline in recurring revenue.

That is why to help keep his employees paid, he is taking advantage of the Save Small Business grant, established to be another drop in the bucket for small businesses across the country.

“Whether you need it for staff or rent or supplies or anything, it is my understanding that businesses will be able to make that decisison,” Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Henry Florsheim said.

Florsheim said there is so much uncertainty right now among business owners not knowing how long this will last and not knowing where their income is going to come from.

“Any time there is a program out there that can help especially if it’s an easy program that can be taken advantage of that is a good thing,” Florsheim said.

Tate said if awarded he will use the money to cover paid-time-off for his high risks employees that had to be sent home and Florsheim encourages all small businesses that qualify to take advantage of the resources to help them get through this crisis.

You can find eligibility details here.

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