Business owners should try to get enrolled in PPP

    If you are a local business owner that has been seriously impacted by the ongoing pandemic, you may have considered applying for a forgivable loan through the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), which was recently created by Congress as part of a stimulus bill. If you haven’t had time yet to investigate the program, it’s something you should consider as a benefit for your employees.

    Under the PPP, businesses can get federal funding through the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide full payroll for all employees for eight weeks, plus some additional funds to pay for things like rent, mortgage interest, and utilities. The loan can become a grant if employees retain employees in the future.
    Like countless business owners across the country, I began investigating PPP last week as the date to begin applying for loans, which was last Friday, drew near. I reached out to my accountant and bank and received the loan application and a list of other items I needed to submit (monthly average payroll from 2019, profit and loss statement, etc.) on Thursday and quickly got it filled out and submitted.
    On Friday morning, however, I received word from my bank that the SBA loan form had changed and I had to fill out a new one. There were only minor changes to the form and I again got it quickly filled out and returned to the bank.
    If you’ve been following the national news about PPP, you know the SBA wasn’t quite ready to accept applications on Friday and banks across the country didn’t have access to the system to submit loan requests. By Saturday, however, I had received information that Three Rivers Publishing had been approved for the program.
    If you have been having problems getting enrolled in PPP, be sure that you continue working to get an application submitted. Once your bank gets your information submitted to the SBA, approval can come in just minutes.
    And while businesses (corporations) with fewer than 500 employees are the focus of PPP, keep in mind that if you are a sole proprietor or self-employed you can also take advantage of the program. Those applications will begin being accepted by the SBA this Friday.

Cuba, St. James schools also using newspapers
    I announced last week that Steelville schools had started a program to provide two pages of educational assignments to students each week in the Steelville Star. Cuba and St. James have now joined in that effort to keep their students learning during the pandemic school closing.
    All three school districts are now bringing educational assignments to students each week through newspapers that are being mailed out to all students’ families. If you are a parent, be sure to check out these resources and work to keep your student(s) learning through the newspaper.
    Kudos to our local school officials for beginning this program, especially since it will provide materials for families without Internet service.

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