The second round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding is open, and Springfield’s Small Business Development Center says this is the time local businesses should look at applying.
Very few local businesses received PPP funding in the first round of the program in 2020. But, this round of funding is more needs-based than the first round, says Rob Alexander, executive director of the Small Business Development Center in Springfield.
Both first-time and returning PPP recipients can apply, but every business applying must be able to show a loss due to the pandemic.
“This time they were smart. You have to show that you really need this. The provisions are in place that will prevent businesses who don’t actually need the funding from getting it,” Alexander says. “If this pandemic has hurt your business, if you’re in a worse place now than were when this started, then you should absolutely be looking into this.”
The SBDC Facebook page has information on where to get started with the PPP application process, which ends March 31. Or, you can contact the SBDC office directly at 937-322-7821 for help.
“We have a staff person who is well-versed on the PPP program and helping people get access to money for their business,” Alexander says. He added that for businesses who have relationships built with the local community banks, those banks can help businesses through the process also.
Funding, he says, will be determined based on the average monthly expenses of each business.
Now more than ever, Alexander says, businesses are in need of financial and community support.
“I think many sectors have not gotten back to normal. They were used to operating at a certain level but traffic dropped off considerably, and it has not even come close to returning back to normal levels,” he says. “We’re in a situation now where maybe (a business) survived for awhile, but they’re running out of savings and cash reserves, and many people have drained their life savings trying to survive this.”
Alexander says even businesses that were well positioned when the pandemic started almost a year ago have now come to face different challenges as the business struggles have continued over such a long period of time.
“Overall, maybe the economy locally didn’t tank as much as it could have, but in the micro level, there were still many businesses who were devastated because they didn’t’ see this coming,” he says. “Even if they had savings for a rainy day, they didn’t expect a rainy year.”
In addition to businesses taking the steps to get help where they can – including applying for these PPP loans – Alexander says it’s also important for communities to remember how much impact their support has on local businesses surviving.
While corporate owned businesses and restaurants may have taken a hit, he says, most were able to pivot and recover easier and more quickly than small businesses because of the abundance of resources available to them.
“The small businesses are really the job creators in this nation – new businesses are especially,” Alexander says. “So, if we want to make sure we have jobs for the people in our community, we have to support small businesses. We have to support start-ups because those are the people creating jobs.”