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More money, resources available for small businesses and self-employed

Updated: April 27, 2020 05:44 PM

Many in the Northland are in various stages of accessing and getting the help they need if they own small businesses or are self-employed. Some are frustrated because they are still waiting, or can't get through on the helplines.

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"Every Monday, I log in and see what my payment is. And every Monday, it still says zero," shared Laci Grove, a self-employed hair stylist in Hibbing. She loves cutting hair, and getting to know her clients.

Andrea Pfieffer, who is also self-employed with Cassandra Bail Bonds, said neither she or her husband have any income right now. "It's really hard and frustrating. We have to juggle our finances, and having to figure out groceries, and the simple things," she said. They've dealt with long hold times, only to be cut off, when they try to call helplines.

Hopefully, they will get some relief soon.

Last Friday, Minnesotans who are self-employed began receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. According to DEED Commissioner Steve Grove, Minnesota is one of the first states in the country to grant this federal benefit.

Grove said, if you're self-employed or an independent contractor, you may be eligible. There are several factors the federal govenment considers. 

For example, you need to be primarily self-employed, receiving active (not passive) income, and your business has to be affected by COVID. 

Also, on Monday, the Small Business Administration began accepting pplications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) again. There is an additional $310 billion dollars available, after the first $350 billion ran out. 

According to the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center, the PPP is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.

Although the program is open until June 30, small business owners are encouraged to “apply as quickly as you can” due to funding caps and the time needed to process loans. These funds are expected to be exhausted within a couple of days

Andy Donahue, director of the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center at UW-Superior, said, "The recommendations for clients and business owners is to go to the banks and talk to the lenders, and get in line for the next round of funding."

He told us businesses are nervous but some are also optimstic and using their entreprenuerial spirits. "They are thinking outside the box to generate business, and finding different ways to reach their customers," Donahue added.

Here's the link for the Paycheck Protection Program:

https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program#section-header-0

In Minnesota for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance:

https://www.uimn.org/applicants/needtoknow/news-updates/covid19-pua.jsp

In Wisconsin for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance:

https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uiben/pua/

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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