BOZEMAN — Friday was the first day that small businesses can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program.
This program is part of a national effort to help retain workers and maintain cash flow, as many small businesses remain closed during the coronavirus outbreak.
“I’m kind of considering this kind of a thank you for the federal government. Thank you for keeping these people employed,” said Suzi Berget White, Business Development Director at Prospera.
The Paycheck Protection Program is a part of the CARES Act that President Trump signed last week.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website, an SBA loan can be forgiven if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
“The majority of banks are already approved with the SBA. They’ve been doing loans for years with the SBA.,” said Berget White.
Small businesses with less than 500 employees can apply.
Amy Kirkland with Altitude Gallery in Bozeman is applying today.
“I’m looking for some type of aid to pay our rent, pay payroll, utilities, just everything that comes along with day-to-day, the bottom line costs that don’t go away,” said Kirkland on Friday.
But there are still many questions up in the air.
For example, when can small businesses expect to see the money?
And how long can these loans provide these small businesses with the legs they need to succeed?
In the meantime, business owners like Kirkland say it’s a part-time job trying to navigate the paperwork and all the different types of loans available.
“It feels like a lot right now to have to gather different reports when I’m trying to run my businesses from home,” said Kirkland.