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Loans, grants available for struggling small businesses

News 5's Caiti Blase speaks with Aikta Marcoulier, executive director of Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center.
Posted at 6:14 PM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 11:53:48-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — With the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill passed into law there's about $350 billion that will go toward loans for small businesses.

What does this mean for business owners? Experts say it's important that they work one-on-one with their financial consultant and someone who understands what their cash flow looks like to figure out exactly how much money they need either through a loan or grant.

Russ Ware said, "It is impossible to lock the door of your location, even temporarily, and not a least consider, you know, are we going to come back?"

For Ware and so many others there's a fear of losing a business due to the coronavirus. Ware and his business partner own Good Neighbors Meeting House and The Wild Goose Meeting House.

As for Wild Goose Ware said, "We figured out pretty early on that it was the best thing for that business to pause and so that's what we did about a week ago...at Wild Goose we'll be seeking out some things because it's going to cost some money to get that thing spun back up so there are grants out there we're looking at, small business loans."

A good resource to access those - the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center. Executive Director Aikta Marcoulier said, "Currently there's Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Those are at a 3.75% interest rate and for non-profits, private non-profits, it's at a 2.75% interest rate."

Another option - the Express Bridge Loan which allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA express lender to get up to $25,000.

Marcoulier said, "The loan money can be used for operating costs, it can be used for salaries, for healthcare benefits, for rent, for lease."

She shared that several grants are also being created.

"They'll be small grants that are awarded to small businesses that are located in enterprise zones."

Another resource to consider is the Pikes Peak Workforce Center. Executive Director Traci Marques said, "We have a business relations group that's specifically designed to help businesses and either obtain, retain their talent that they have...we will have some grants available for employers to be able to help retain the talent that they have."

When it comes to the federal stimulus package Marcoulier says there are details on forgiving loans for up to six months. There's also tax benefits - 50% of a tax credit if you keep your employees on board.

For information on loan programs, grants, and other resources click on the links below:

Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center

Pikes Peak Workforce Center