Many local businesses are hurting during this difficult time. Whether they’ve seen a reduction in customers and sales, or have had to shut their doors completely, there is no lack of evidence that the COVID-19 coronavirus has had a negative impact on small business in the last three weeks.

The U.S. Department of The Treasury wants to make sure these small business owners are aware of a program that can provide assistance in this time of need.

The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing billions toward job retention and certain other expenses. The program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to eight weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.

Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees, including nonprofit organizations, veterans’ organizations, tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed, sole proprietorships, or are independent contractors are eligible if they also meet program size standards. Businesses with more than 500 employees are eligible in certain industries.

Small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply as early as Friday, April 3. Independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply as early as Friday, April 10. There is a cap on funding, so all are encouraged to apply as early as possible. You can find the application HERE.

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