Small Business Association loans offer relief to small businesses

Posted at 4:44 PM, Apr 10, 2020

Just west of Denver, in Edgewater Colorado, you'll find Griffin Coffee. Owner Peter Hanan started the business about a year ago.

“Our phrase is 'Coffee, Culture, Community,'" Hanan said. "We want to know you, you want to know us, and I think, it starts in terms of taking care of your employees like they are family."

But just like millions of other small businesses around the country, Hanan's coffee shop has taken a big hit from the coronavirus.

“Yes, it’s absolutely affected our bottom line," he explained. "It’s affected everything. I personally have kind of restructured my personal goals and priorities at the shop, and they are to keep staff on payroll and to provide the best service that we can for customers."

The uncertainty that comes with a crisis like this weighs on not just a small business owner, but the employees as well.

“You need a job in order to pay your bills," said Rachel Mudry a barista at Griffin Coffee. "I probably would see how long I could stay up here realistically and then I’d have to move home with my parents.”

The good news, as part of the $2 trillion stimulus package passed by Congress in March, there’s almost $350 billion in loans for small businesses. It’s called the Paycheck Protection Program.

A loan for up to $10 million at a 1 percent interest can be used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. If 75 percent or more of the loan is used to keep employees on staff, the loan will be forgiven by the government.

That means you don’t have to pay it back.

“We’re hoping that by keeping all of our staff on and paying for them to keep working here, that we’ll find some relief in that capacity. And we’ve reached out to a few banks in terms of asking for relief in terms of federal loans and grants,” said Hanan.

The Small Business Association is offering other types of assistance, as well. It offers a loan advance for immediate access to up $10,000, express bridge loans for up to $25,000, and other kinds of debt relief from loans for up to six months.

For Peter, this type of relief will help him keep – what he calls "extended family" on payroll.

“I think family is the right word to use," he said. "I would not be here if weren’t for the people I have on my payroll right now. To me, I think that is the first priority of the shop to make people feel like this is a family and this is a community."