Significance of $2T federal stimulus package for small businesses explained during Richardson chamber webinar

The $2 trillion stimulus bill, known as the CARES Act, includes billions of dollars in assistance for small businesses and certain nonprofits. (Courtesy Fotolia)
The $2 trillion stimulus bill, known as the CARES Act, includes billions of dollars in assistance for small businesses and certain nonprofits. (Courtesy Fotolia)

The $2 trillion stimulus bill, known as the CARES Act, includes billions of dollars in assistance for small businesses and certain nonprofits. (Courtesy Fotolia)

Last week, the largest federal relief package in U.S. history was approved by Congress and signed by the president. The funds are intended to pump trillions of dollars back into an economy crippled by the novel coronavirus.

To discuss the implications of the bill for business owners, Richardson Chamber of Commerce President Bill Sproull was joined via a March 30 webinar by U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, D-Dallas and Susheel Kumar, public information officer for the Small Business Administration’s Office of Disaster Assistance.

The $2 trillion stimulus bill, known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, includes the Paycheck Protection Program, a $350 billion relief package for small businesses and certain nonprofits. The program allows eligible organizations with 500 or fewer employees to apply for forgivable loans of up to $10 million, Allred explained. Small businesses are also able to apply for emergency grants of up to $10,000.

“The idea is to get small businesses back on their feet and workers back on payroll,” Allred said.

The amount each business gets is based on average monthly payroll costs a year prior to the date of the loan. The money is intended to cover eight weeks worth of payroll, rent and utilities, or interest payments on mortgages. The principal of the loan will be forgiven so long as the business uses it to pay for approved operational costs.


An application for the loan is not yet available, according to the SBA. A list of approved lenders should be released soon.

Also covered in the presentation were the economic injury disaster loans available through the SBA. Qualifying small businesses and nonprofits can borrow up to $2 million. The free-to-apply loan is backed by the U.S. Treasury, meaning applicants do not have to apply through a bank.

Some of the basic criteria for applicants include an acceptable credit history, a demonstrated ability to eventually repay the loan and a requirement that the business is located in a disaster-declared county, according to the SBA. Kumar encouraged all businesses to apply for the loan, even if they are not sure they qualify.

“We do not want to be the person doing field eligibility, so please go ahead and apply ... seek the assistance that you need and move forward with the recovery process,” he said.

One webinar participant asked if federal small-business loans are available to gig workers. Allred said the stimulus bill was “intentionally targeted” to include those groups as well.

“I would say it’s likely that we have a program that does apply to you,” he said.

Others wondered whether they should wait to apply for the SBA loan until funds are depleted. Kumar urged business owners to submit their applications as soon as possible.

“Please don’t wait till the very last minute; please apply now,” he said. “Working capital is the lifeblood of every organization.”

Once a loan application is received, it takes about two to three weeks for processing, Kumar said. The business should receive the loan within five days after approval, he said.

"We are looking forward to assisting as many businesses as we can," Kumar said.

Allred said his biggest concern is making sure businesses have enough information to access the funding. He said businesses can contact his office for assistance navigating the application process.

“My office is here to help, and we will make sure we do anything we can to get you through this,” he said,

For more information on small-businesses resources, visit allred.house.gov/covid19smallbusiness. To apply for an SBA economic injury disaster loan, visit https://covid19relief.sba.gov.
By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


MOST RECENT

The Texas Central rail connection from Dallas to Houston will feature a bullet train similar to this one. (Courtesy Texas Central Partners/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Supreme Court declines to review high-speed rail case, freeing company up to use eminent domain

Texas Central, the company looking to build a 236-mile high-speed rail line connecting Houston and Dallas, has been given a big win in an ongoing legal battle over whether the company is legally recognized as a "railroad company" under state law.

Bojangles recently announced it signed a franchise agreement to open a new location in Richardson. (Courtesy Bojangles)
Bojangles fried chicken coming to Richardson; bar and grill opens at Grapevine golf course and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Food.
Richardson to be among first North Texas cities to welcome fried chicken chain Bojangles

“Get ready, Texans, because our delicious chicken and biscuits are headed your way, and we can’t wait to serve you up some real deal, Southern flavor like only Bojangles does,” Bojangles Chief Growth Officer Jose Costa said.

See how COVID-19 impacted Dallas County over the last week. (Community Impact staff)
Tracking COVID-19: Vaccination totals rise as confirmed cases continue to fall in Dallas County

In Dallas County, new cases of the virus totaled 112 on June 16.

Meat.
Deep Cuts Dallas Butcher Shop expands on western edge of Richardson

Deep Cuts added 2,500 square feet to the shop by expanding into the vacant space next door.

Mesero has six locations across the metroplex, with a seventh on the way in Southlake. (Courtesy Mesero)
Tex-Mex restaurant may come to Southlake; African fusion eatery opens in Frisco and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Sign.
Greenville Avenue Pizza Co. making progress on Richardson location

GAPCo offers made-from-scratch pizzas with a thin, crispy crust and homemade sauce.

Meeting.
Richardson ISD board approves minimum 2% employee raises as part of 2021-22 budget

The general fund also includes a $1,500 retention stipend for certain full-time, returning employees who meet requirements outlined in the budget.

Halfway through 2021, Richardson is slowly recovering from a pandemic-driven dip in sales tax revenue seen in 2020. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Richardson sales tax collections increase by 30% in June, part of an upward trend

So far this year, Richardson has collected $22.6 million in sales tax, which is up from the $21.3 million recorded at the same time last year, according to data from the state comptroller.

Texas Central has signed a $16 billion contract with Webuild to lead the civil construction team that will build the train. (Rendering courtesy Texas Central)
Texas Central signs $16B construction contract for high-speed rail project

Texas Central could be one step closer to starting construction.