Small businesses can apply for additional financial aid now

Posted at 7:04 PM, Jan 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-12 20:42:51-05

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WXYZ) — The small business administration officially opened the application process for a new round of Payment Protection Program,(PPP) funding.

Another 280 billion dollars is on the table, approved 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 Paycheck Protection Program 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.

When Michigan By the Bottle owner, Cortney 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,” said Casey.

Practically overnight, a hustling bustling operation was downsized.

“It was a sad time for us, we lost about half of our staff,” added Casey.

The happy faces dining over wine and tapas seen no more- reflecting a brutal reality. 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 did get a PPP injection in the spring. The aid was helpful, but short-lived and the guidelines awfully 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.

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

While better earmarking the aid for those who need it the most during this pandemic.

“You must prove your income was reduced by 25% in any one quarter,” said Cassidy. “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 8 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 Cortney plans to do!

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

The potential for a second loan? Giving 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.