Local small businesses start applying for federal assistance


LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- According to the Small Business Administration, Arkansas small businesses employ about 480,000 people. 

Many of those small businesses are having to shut their doors during this global pandemic. One of those is The Fix salon. 

“Never in a million years I thought I would be in this position right now,” said owner Natalie Blaney.

Like many small business owners, it’s left her concerned about the future. 

“I have already gone through that emotion I guess,” said Blaney. 

The federal government has released new grants and loans available for small businesses to apply for, like Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP. It helps make ends meet and fill payroll for employees. 

“It will help businesses cover their payroll expenses for an 8-week period. That amount will be forgiven by the government after it takes place,’ said Arkansas Bankers Association chairman Rob Robinson.  

Robinson says business owners can apply for PPP through their local bank. He encourages anyone who qualifies to reach out. 

“All banks across the state have been inundated with applications,” Robinson said.

Natalie applied for the PPP earlier this week and hasn’t heard back yet. 

She says this program will help her pay her employees during this time of uncertainty. 

” It would take a lot of worry off of my shoulders if I knew they were taken care of and if I knew all of my bills would be paid,” Blaney said. 

For more information about PPP, how to apply, and other federal assistance to small business owners, visit https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

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