What small businesses can do to deal with the impacts of COVID-19

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COVID-19 has taken its toll on the US economy in recent weeks. While it also affects the health of thousands of people, several businesses have faced significant losses after being forced to shut down.

“It’s a little overwhelming. Very emotional at times – I’ve been very busy on the business side, which I’m very grateful for, but I prefer to work,” said Tami Draper, owner of Sensational Hair Salon.

Draper found herself in a situation she never thought she would be in. She had to close her Palm Desert salon to clients and hairdressers who rented space for her.

“If they don’t work, they don’t have the money to pay their rent, which means I don’t have the money to pay my rent. It’s a domino effect,” Draper said.

Now the owner of the salon must wonder where her next income will come from. She, along with so many other small business owners, took the brunt of having a non-essential business during the time the coronavirus wreaked havoc on the U.S. economy.

“I went online on [Small Business Administration] information – all printed, all read, had an emotional breakdown – so overwhelming of what I needed. I called Kim Scanlan, ”Draper said.

Kim Scanlan is the program director of the Coachella Valley Women’s Business Center.

The organization has served as a resource for business owners seeking federal assistance through the Small Business Administration.

Scanlan said there are two main loans directly linked to COVID-19, which companies have been able to apply for. Under the CARES Act, which was enacted on March 27, the federal government allocated $ 376 billion in aid to American workers and small businesses.

“Payroll Protection Plan – this is one that’s going to be a bit more immediate. This will cover the immediate costs of payroll and things like rent and utilities,” Scanlan said.

As of Tuesday, the turnaround time to receive the money was still unknown. Scanlan said the PPP loan would be granted faster than the disaster economic impact loan.

“The EIDL loan is designed to hold things like rent and expenses down while the business is shut down, so that it can reopen when this is all over,” Scanlan said.

Scanlan said the SBA has since streamlined the loan application process. A business plan was previously required for some loans, but this requirement has since disappeared.

Scanlan said the SBA wanted specific information regarding finances. She also said the agency’s credit scores had also gone down slightly.

She urged small business owners to contact the organization to help them go through the application process.

“Please contact us because we are here to help. We are your tax dollars at work. If you don’t think you are going to be a responsible candidate, ask us for help . There are other options, “Scanlan said.

Several other Coachella Valley organizations have offered their support through these difficult times. Below, KESQ has provided a short list of organizations that are ready to help small businesses.

Coachella Valley Economic Partnership, Coachella Valley Women’s Business Center, SCORE Coachella Valley, Small Business Development Center

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