SBA Paycheck Protection Program will help small businesses keep paying workers during pandemic

SBA Paycheck Protection Program will help small businesses keep paying workers during pandemic
The Paycheck Protection Program offers low-interest loans to small businesses for basic business expenses such as rent, utilities and payroll. The loans are forgiven if the business keeps all employees on the payroll for eight weeks. (contributed)

Small businesses across Alabama can benefit from a U.S. Small Business Administration program launching this week. The program is designed to help them keep their workers on the payroll during the coronavirus crisis.

The Paycheck Protection Program will provide a direct incentive for small businesses to maintain their workforces by getting cash into the business owners’ hands quickly in the form of an ultra-low-interest loan.

The SBA will forgive the loan if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities.

“The Paycheck Protection Program is a completely unique solution to this unprecedented situation in which we all find ourselves,” said Thomas Todt, district director of the SBA’s Alabama District Office in Birmingham.

The program – funded with $349 billion through the federal coronavirus relief packaged known as the CARES Act – will be available through June 30. It is expected to activate on April 3.

Eddie Postell, manager of the Office of Small Business Advocacy at the Alabama Department of Commerce, said small businesses across the state need to act promptly to secure assistance through the program.

“You have to remember that these financial assistance programs are not just for affected Alabama businesses – they are for all U.S. businesses,” Postell said. “Therefore, it’s critically important that our affected small businesses begin to apply for assistance through these programs as soon as the SBA opens the application process.”

Business owners can download a sample form to see the information that will be requested during the application process. For more information, including who is eligible, how to apply and loan details, visit the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.

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