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Columbia Business Monthly

Rethinking How to Survive after Coronavirus

Apr 15, 2020 01:18PM ● By David Dykes

(Above: Earl Gregorich)

By L. C. Leach III

‘Focus on the recovery’ – That was the message delivered April 14 during the Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s webinar to update area small businesses.

Earl Gregorich, area manager and business consultant for the Greenville Area Small Business Development Center, said that in the long run, small business owners will have to re-think how they do business to survive. 

But first, he said, they need to know how to obtain relief during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

He concentrated on two primary programs by the Small Business Administration: the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL), and the Payroll Protection Program (PPP).

The PPP is designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if at least 75 percent of the funds are used for payroll over an eight-week period; the money must be used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.

Small Business owners can apply for a PPP loan through any existing SBA lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. 

“For now, the Payroll Protection Program is intended to be available through June 30, 2020,” Gregorich said. “And so far, it is looking very promising in helping small business owners recover from Covid-19.”

The EIDL is intended to provide relief for any small business owner with less than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organizations, or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations.

EIDL funds are capped at $2 million per business, with an advance of up to $10,000. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.

EIDL funds will be made available following a successful application. 

“EIDL involves up to a 30-45 day process at this time,” Gregorich said. “And while it has taken some taken for the process to get going, the good news is that the money is coming.”

Since its first-reported outbreak in December 2019, the Coronavirus has so far killed more than 125,000 people, infected 2 million others, and resulted in a state of emergency for small businesses in every corner of the globe.

Carlos Phillips, the Greenville Chamber's president and CEO, said the Community Matters webinar series was launched in early April to further connect the Chamber to the area business community.

“Mr. Gregorich appeared on the webcast because of the heightened demand for information about the various CARES Act provisions,” Phillips said. “The Small Business Administration and numerous financial institutions are assisting thousands of businesses in our community and millions throughout the country apply for the loans and assistance that will help them manage through this situation.”

While the U.S. government’s current $2 trillion stimulus package is expected to offset part of the coronavirus’s adverse effect on business, Gregorich said that in the long run, small businesses will have to re-think how they do business to survive.

“The key is focusing on the recovery,” Gregorich said. “And every one of the small business owners that I’ve talked to during this Coronavirus crisis is trying their best to make sure their people are being taken care of through this.”

About the Greenville Area Small Business Development Center

The Small Business Development Center focuses on helping small business owners start, grow, and sustain healthy businesses. This is executed through training, consulting and connecting resources with small business owners and their employees. Clients receive assistance with business, marketing and strategic planning, financial management, technical assistance, operational management, government contracting and international trade/funding prep. For more information visit,www.scsbdc.com.

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