(WXYZ) – In the midst of this pandemic, many of us have reached lows we could never have imagined.
But here we are, trying to overcome this new normal, both mentally and financially.
we know it has not been easy. So yesterday we launched a new special initiative The Rebound Detroit, our effort to give you the resources and guidance you need to walk that long road to recovery.
Rebound Detroit is all about bouncing back. And for small businesses, that means getting loans.
A popular Small Business Administration loan program has been overtaken by demand. And while these funds are supposed to be replenished, I took a look at what cash-strapped homeowners should do in the meantime.
“We started to think about the bills, because we still have to pay the rent for the building, we still have to pay the building utilities,” explains Stella Giannini.
Stella and Kevin from Clinton Township have been worried lately. The husband and wife duo owns specialty flooring company Creative Surfaces.
“Have you ever been in a Chipotle?” Stella asks. “When you walk in it’s all waxed concrete floors, we do that and at the back of the house where they have the kitchens, we do the resin floor.”
In business for 12 years now, some of their big customers include Chipotle Mexican Grille and even Taco Bell. It was a successful race, but like many small businesses in the midst of this pandemic, things took a turn.
“One day we were working, the next day it was, we are closed, we had to call everyone, you can’t come in, please file an unemployment claim,” says Stella. “We kept thinking about how we were going to keep the employees if they weren’t working.
Worried about the eight employees on their payroll, the couple applied for the Small Business Administration’s paycheck protection program. Made possible by the stimulus bill, the loan is canceled as long as it is used to cover salary costs.
“I have been informed that we have been approved, but they don’t know how it will work because the money is exhausted,” she said.
An email from Citizens Bank informed the couple that the SBA had exhausted its $ 350 billion in allocated funds, as Congress tried to find more funding.
But SCORE, a nonprofit providing free business resources, says that’s no reason to feel disheartened, urging loan seekers to use this time wisely.
“Entrepreneurs need to have all of their financial documents prepared and ready for submission. .
Also, remember that the PPP loan is not the end.
“There’s a lot of county money, state money, and emerging programs, so they should be out there on a scavenger trying to find the money they need,” Ojeda says.
Here is the summary of the rebound:
- Don’t back down on the PPP loan application
- Get your financial statements submitted in the system
- And don’t ignore other county / state programs you may be eligible for
This scavenger hunt can be stressful for many, and we’ll continue to provide you with resources to help you find those answers.
We heard this in the dozens of emails we received after our reports yesterday, one from Martin who wants to know;
“I own a very small business. I did not get the SBA loan. Can I apply for unemployment?
The answer is yes. On April 15, unemployment benefits were extended to the self-employed. So, Martin, you are eligible. I encourage you to file online and be patient as it is not a quick process.
Please keep these questions coming and email us at [email protected]
Additional information and resources on the coronavirus:
Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 snapshot from the CDC, details of cases in Michigan, a timeline of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s orders since the outbreak, the impact of the coronavirus on Southeast Michigan, and links to more Information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, CDC and WHO.
See a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
To find how you can help Detroit metro restaurants struggling during the pandemic.
See all our Help each other stories.
See full coverage on our Continuous cover page of the coronavirus.