Small businesses can now apply for SBA funds

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) Small businesses can now apply for money to help them during the stay-at-home order.

Local leaders say now is the time to do it before the money runs out.

“It’s imperative that businesses apply for these programs now. It’s imperative they apply for as many programs as they think they can meet. It’s imperative they discuss this with their accountant, CPA and banker,” President and CEO of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority Gregg Gothreaux said.

Gothreaux says there are five different programs available through the small business administration. Any business with under 500 employees is eligible to apply.

How do you know, however, which program is right for your business?

At lafayette.org/comparison, you’ll find a list of five programs and the eligibility requirements for each one.

“If it remotely matches, they should also apply for all of them, anything they can,” Gothreaux said.

After reviewing which programs your business is eligible for, you can find a video about how to apply at lafayette.org/covid.

You can also call 311 and press 2 between the hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to speak with someone from LEDA, who can answer your questions.

After you figure out the best programs for you and learn to apply, Gothreaux says you should contact your accountant and your banker.

“Primarily the money is a bridge loan for you to stay in business, and that’s a loan. You can borrow the money, but you don’t have to start paying back the money for some cases six months, some cases a year,” Gothreaux added.

Gothreaux is urging businesses to apply for the programs before money runs out.

“The money is finite and the process is not fast. People are just learning the process now. You may say, ‘well, I’m going to sit back and wait until it’s time when it’s all worked out.’ You may be late to the show,” Gothreaux said.

There are four ways to apply for the program: either online, by the phone, through your bank, or by picking up a paper packet at Lafayette City Hall.

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