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Edwards to small businesses: Don’t wait for glitches to be worked out, the time to apply for loans is now

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BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — Gov. John Bel Edwards urged small businesses across the state to apply immediately for loan dollars through the Payback Protection Plan (PPP), and he also urged banks should pursue those federal dollars immediately.

“The rollout out of the $349 billion through this program comes at a critical time for our state as we face this public health crisis, but it will not last long as businesses across the country will also apply, which is why our small businesses should not wait for the glitches in the system to be worked out before filling out their applications,” said Edwards. “Time is of the essence and the time to move is now.”

The PPP is administered by the Small Business Administration through local banks, and is designed to help small businesses meet their operational needs during this coronavirus pandemic.

“This is a very difficult time for everyone and the impact of this virus is being felt in all segments of our society, but small businesses should know these funds are available today and Louisiana banks are positioned through the SBA to assist their customers during this crisis,” said Edwards. “That is why I am encouraging all bankers to have patience as the federal government works to expand the accessibility of the Paycheck Protection Program.”

The process, however, is taking some time, Edwards admitted. He also said some small business owners experienced frustration when not every question had an immediate answer. However, he said everyone involved is in uncharted territory in the midst of this crisis.

I have every confidence that those funds will begin to flow as quickly as possible,” he said.

The Paycheck Protection Program provides a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll. It 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. Visit SBA.gov for more information. 

Earlier this week, Gov. Edwards announced additional help through a new Louisiana Loan Portfolio Guaranty Program, which will offer loans of up to $100,000 to Louisiana small businesses of fewer than 100 employees that are impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. To help Main Street and rural businesses sustain operations, the loans will require no payments and no will bear no interest for 180 days and carry below-market interest rates of no more than 3.5 percent. 

LPGP loans will provide up to $100,000 in immediate financing to help small firms impacted by COVID-19 meet their payroll, retain employees, pay their rent and mortgages, and keep their lights on and their doors open. Interested businesses may find loan details at OpportunityLouisiana.com/covid19, and a list of participating bankers will be posted at the site by Friday as banks complete their participation agreements. 

Click here for more details.

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