Small businesses can apply for additional financial aid now

Posted at 6:03 AM, Jan 13, 2021

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Small Business Administration has officially opened the application process for a new round of Payment Protection Program (PPP) funding.

Another $280 billion is on the table, created by the recent COVID Relief Bill. That aid for many small businesses could determine their survival.

More than 100,000 Michigan businesses were granted funding by the PPP last spring. That includes one popular metro Detroit tasting room and, while thankful, they say to stay alive more is needed.

“It’s frustrating, it’s scary, it’s disappointing to get to a point where everything is a well-oiled machine and to have it be derailed,” said Cortney Casey, owner of Michigan By the Bottle.

When Casey jump-started tasting rooms in Shelby Township, Royal Oak, and Auburn Hills, she knew it would be a challenge, but nothing like this. “We’ve probably lost about 50 percent of our revenue,” she said.

Practically overnight, a hustling bustling operation was downsized. “It was a sad time for us, we lost about half of our staff."

According to research, 5,600, or 33%, of Michigan restaurant operators say it's unlikely they’ll still be in business in six months.

Financial aid has been hard to come by. And despite many getting a bump in help from past PPP funding, many restaurants like Michigan By the Bottle have been forced to rely on curbside sales and revenue from adapting limited outdoor space.

“We joke that we’ve never been so excited about having eight customers at one time,” said Casey.

Cortney got an injection of PPP funds in the spring. The aid was helpful but short-lived, and the guidelines were unclear. “Lot of confusion about when it had to be used by,” added Casey.

Financial expert Kirk Cassidy says in this latest round of funding the government is clearing up big questions while better earmarking the aid for those who need it the most during this pandemic.

“Now they’ve clarified,” said Kirk Cassidy from the Retirement Education Foundation, “any loans that are received to be tax-deductible.”

“You must prove your income was reduced by 25% in any one quarter,” Cassidy continued. “The goal here is to focus on those small businesses that are the most vulnerable right now."

“I think it is a game-changer in that many of these really small businesses will likely have a greater chance of succeeding,” said Cassidy.

Here’s The Rebound Rundown

  • Borrowers can now set their loan covered period to be any length of time, between eight and 24 weeks to meet their needs.
  • This latest round will cover additional expenses, including any operational costs or property damage repairs.
  • If you already received a PPP loan, you are eligible to apply again.

That’s exactly what Casey plans to do.

“It would mean everything for us. Right now, things are really difficult,” said Casey.

The potential for a second loan gives her hope that this tasting room business, a one of a kind dine-and-wine, will live to see another day.

An important note, the application window for PPP funding ends on March 31, 2021- so don’t wait to apply.