Small businesses can start applying for COVID-19 relief loans on Friday


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Congressman Joe Morelle answered questions about the federal stimulus package in a call on Wednesday. Business owners on the call had the chance to ask him anything.

Morelle said his goal is to disrupt the marketplace as little as possible. There are a few programs that make up the stimulus package and one specifically will provide small businesses the relief they’re looking for.

The Paycheck Protection Program will help businesses with 500 or fewer employees. It’s a small business guaranteed loan with a sliding scale of how much employers can borrow. The maximum is $10 million. The money can be used for payroll, healthcare benefits, and overhead items such as rent or utilities. The loan is forgivable as long as employers don’t lay off employees during the program.

Affected non-profits, religious organizations, and self-employed people are eligible to apply for this. Morelle also said there has already been discussion about the next set of packages and there’s a possibility this package will get extended or more help will become available.

“This is going to take a toll on us and the big challenge for us is going to be to get through the emotional and mental challenge and get through this. Because if you look at this the apex, or peak, in Rochester might not happen until the middle or end of May. We might be at this for a long time folks,” Morelle said.

He also said there is support out there for businesses with more than 500 employees. There are refundable credits for the percentage of payroll that a business has.

Business owners can get more information on the package here.

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