Fariubault Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism President/CEO Nort Johnson joined our KDHL AM Minnesota program via telephone today in accordance with social distancing practices.  Johnson says the Chamber building is closed and all employees except him are working from home.

Johnson has read up on many programs being developed to assist small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic with staying afloat so when it's over they can still be in business.  Programs including the Small Business Cares Act, Paycheck Protection Program, Emergency Economic Injury Grant and Small Business Debt Relief.

Johnson says, "These are all for businesses that are sized for Faribault.  There's different eligibility for businesses that are governed by a larger corporation.  They don't have access in the same way that the smaller businesses do to some of these things that are available right now."

I received a text question from a listener asking about grants or loans available for 501(c)(3) organizations like the American Legion and Paradise Center for the Arts.  Johnson assured us the Chamber will have a separate button on their website outlining specifics for those organizations.

Johnson added the hospitality industry has already been hit hard saying, "There's no sugar coating it this is going to be really tough visitor related businesses.  We're already recognizing that with restaurants.  Certainly tourist attractions just aren't going at all.  With sports tournaments and business conventions being cancelled it's a major hit all across the country."

Concerning the $349 billion dollar Payroll Protection Program provided by the Small Business Administration  and U.S. Treasury Department "Businesses would be able to apply for a loan that would be forgivable for up to 8 weeks of payroll. Based on employee retention and salary levels.  These would be eligible for businesses that are harmed between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020."

All businesses including non-profits are eligible for the Payroll Protection Program, Veterans organizations, Tribal concerns, the self-employed and independent contractors with 500 or fewer employees.  Maximum loan amount up to $10 million.

  • No collateral
  • No personal guarantees
  • No borrower or lender fees payable to SBA
  • 100% guaranteed by SBA
  • Interest rate of 0.5%
  • Maturity of 2 years

Johnson tells us you can obtain more information or sign up for this with your local bank.

Last Friday President Trump signed into law the CARES Act, which provided additional assistance for small business owners and non-profits, including the opportunity for and up to $10,000 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance.  The advance may be available even if your EIDL application was previously declined or is still pending, and will be forgiven.

Visit the Small Business Administration to apply via a new streamlined application.  You still need to submit even if your previously applied.  Applying for the advance will not impact the status or slow your existing application.

The Coronavirus Business Resource Center is another excellent resource for small businesses looking to make it through these difficult times.

Johnson informed us there are some businesses in Faribault currently hiring with that information available on the Faribault Chamber website.

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