KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There is more than $100 billion up for grabs through the federal government’s Payroll Protection Program. But the deadline to apply for one of the loans is quickly approaching: Tuesday, June 30.
To help small business owners secure a loan before the deadline, the US Small Business Administration relaunched a program called “Lender Match.” Region VII Administrator Tom Salisbury, who is based in Kansas City, Missouri, compared Lender Match to speed dating between a business owner and lenders who can coordinate the PPP transaction.
Salisbury said the likelihood of getting approved for a PPP loan if you get your application in on time is high.
“I personally believe when the history of this episode in American history is actually written, they will say the PPP, along with the efforts of other agencies, very much saved this economy,” Salisbury said.
Since the program went online in April, more than 4.5 million businesses have received loans totaling more than $530 billion. In Missouri and Kansas combined, 140,000 business owners received more than $14 billion, according to Salisbury.
What makes the loan appealing is recipients don’t have to repay the money if they use it for certain criteria like keeping employees on staff. Salisbury said that component has kept unemployment numbers lower than they could have been.
“We were very thankful to be able to keep some employees on and continually be able to pay them,” explained Maria Lopez, the co-owner of Chips and Coins, a Cuban restaurant and market in downtown Kansas City, Kansas.
She received a PPP loan for less than $5,000. She said it helped, but didn’t solve all the problems COVID-19 created. Luckily, to-go orders have been consistent enough for her to justify keeping the restaurant open while closing the dining room.
“Everybody has to get creative and pivot and be as flexible as possible,” Lopez admitted.
In the meantime, Lopez is looking for other loan options to get more money into the business to pay down debts she’s accrued because of a reduction in business. Businesses cannot receive multiple PPP loans.
Salisbury said the SBA will keep the Lender Match program in place after the PPP deadline to help business owners acquire traditional loans.
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