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Wisconsin non-essential businesses finding ways to operate remotely during Safer at Home order

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: March 24, 2020 07:21 PM

With Gov. Tony Evers putting his Safer at Home order into effect, non-essential businesses that will have to close their door to customers are finding ways to keep their businesses operating from a distance.

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Amanda Rockwood runs her Phoenix Fitness and Health business in Superior. She offers personal training and classes to customers.

Now that she has to close her business, she is worried on how she will support her family and keep her business going.

"It’s hard being that this is my job my only source of income and I have three daughter to take care of. It’s kinda scary and I wonder what’s going to happen after," said Rockwood.

Rockwood is looking at what options are out there for help and is considering offering her classes and training online, which is a step a lot of businesses are taking.

"I've been doing a lot of research for online training and things to continue to run my business from the internet," said Rockwood.

Wisconsin is home to over 450,000 small businesses. The U.S. Small Business Administration(SBA) knows the challenges the governor's order will bring to small businesses and is finding ways to offer financial help. One way they are doing that is through the economic injury disaster loan.

"It enables small businesses who have lost income during this time to have a vehicle for replacing that income and giving themselves some working capitol while they’re being affected by this," said Shirah Apple, the public affairs specialist for the U.S. Small Business Administration Wisconsin District Office.

SBA is encouraging businesses affected to apply to see if they qualify for this loan that could help them in keeping their business afloat during this time.

"These loans go up to $2 million per business. There’s no limit as far as businesses in the state to apply or anything like that. It’s not only for small businesses but also for private non-profits," said Apple.

As non-essential businesses find ways to support themselves, they ask the community to be kind and find ways to support them whether thats by ordering services or merchandise online or by simply checking in.

"We should all be checking in with each other it’s important to check in with those small businesses to see how they’re doing and if there is something we can do to help," said Rockwood.

The SBA economic injury disaster loans are available in both Wisconsin and Minnesota and will continue to be available through December 2020.

SBA says the loans can provide working capital to meet the needs of payroll, accounts payable, and fixed debt payments until the situation improves.

Interest rates are 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits.

You can apply for an economic injury loan at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/

For more information on what businesses are defined “essential” more details and a form to request approval to be considered essential can be found on the WEDC website: https://wedc.org/essentialbusiness/

Credits

Alejandra Palacios

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

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