Banks offering paycheck protection loans for small businesses

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Small businesses around the Ozarks are running out of ways to make money, pay its employees and even stay in business.

Fortunately, local banks are offering a lifeline.

As part of the “Cares Act” passed by congress, banks around the country are offering what is called the Paycheck Protection Program.

Commercial Loan Manager Mindy Wiseman with Arvest Bank says the program’s intentions are clear.

“Provide small businesses with funds to keep people working to cover payroll costs for a short period of time,” Wiseman said.

Small businesses, sole proprietors and independent contractors are among the list of people encouraged to apply online.

“Two page applications with basic information,” Wiseman said. “Then they provide financial information.”

If the applicant is approved, they receive a loan that is two and a half times their average payroll.

“It’s a way of funding those items that small businesses are struggling to come up with resources to cover that,” Wiseman said.

Southbound Bar and Grill in Springfield has already benefitted from this program.

Co-owner Michael Goldsmith said they applied on Monday and then had funds in their bank on Friday.

Goldsmith says it was a $40,000 loan.

That’s worth eight weeks of his business’ payroll.

“The employees that we do have, as far as being in the kitchen, it’s able to help pay them and it does help a little bit with rent and utilities as well,” Goldsmith said.

Some businesses haven’t been as fortunate as Goldsmith’s, like Innovations Salon and Spa.

“My business is a little bit different than your average small business,” said Michelle Maserang, owner of the salon. “All the professionals here actually rent space.”

Maserang technically doesn’t have any employees.

“We range from 24 to 30 professionals at a time that work here, they are all an even smaller business,” Maserang said, “and so, we have no payroll.”

Which means her business is not eligible for the PPP.

“Oh, it’s terribly hard,” Maserang said. “Not only for the professionals here that pay their home bills, but then if they don’t make money, they can’t pay me the rent. Therefore, I can’t pay the rent.”

Maserang said she has applied for almost every small business loan except for the PPP.

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