Coronavirus in Minnesota: Help on the road for small businesses “It’s absolutely about survival” – WCCO

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Estimates show that small businesses employ half of all Minnesotans.

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Many of these business owners paint a grim picture of the future.

Customers are sheltering in their homes and most shops and offices are closed – but help is on the way.

Twin Cities marketing expert Sharon Smith-Akansaya convened a power panel on Wednesday via Zoom to educate small businesses on available resources.

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“It’s absolutely about survival,” Smith-Akansaya said. “We had to close all of our restaurants and bars. We have sole proprietors, independents, everyone is trying to figure out how are we going to survive this? “

You can apply on the Small Business Administration website for an economic disaster assistance loan. The loan can be up to $ 2.5 million, and the first payment can be deferred for 12 months, and they can be repaid over 30 years at an interest rate of 3.75%.

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You can also separately apply for an immediate cash grant of $ 10,000, which does not have to be repaid.

Another option of the SBA is the Paycheck Protection Program, which helps companies continue to meet their payrolls.

The second source of help comes from Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Among its programs is a $ 30 million emergency loan fund.

The panel also advises small businesses that they should apply now, even if they are not sure whether they qualify. Brian McDonald, the SBA’s interim district director, says to file your candidacy as soon as possible.

“We have enough funds. It’s just a first come, first serve matter, so the sooner you get your application, the sooner you will be served, ”said McDonald.

Minnesota State Senator Bobby Joe Champion also said a new special COVID-19 legislative committee would also look for aid gaps. They will also present new proposals to help bail out small businesses.

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