The deadline for PPP loans for small businesses is June 30

Trisha Cornelius was not sure how the Small Travelers Academy the preschool school she owns was going to be successful coronavirus epidemic.

She usually has 60 students with a waiting list at Fruit Cove School for children aged 6 weeks to 12 years old. But by the end of March, there were only a dozen left, which meant most Cornelius staff couldn’t work at the school as the pandemic swept through the area, causing closures. .

But in late March, the federal government approved the Paycheque Protection Program which offers recovery loans for small businesses struggling with the economic impacts of COVID-19. Cornelius applied and was able to secure an assistance loan in mid-April.

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“It was great,” Cornelius said. “This is how I was able to keep my doors open.

Cornelius said she was able to pay eight employees and cover the costs of her school’s ongoing operation with the federal financial relief. She is now urging other small businesses to apply for PPP loans distributed by the US Small Business Administration.

The deadline for these applications is Tuesday. A total of about $ 650 billion in federal funds covers the loans.

Nayana Sen, public affairs specialist for the SBA’s North Florida district office, said her office was trying to get the word out about the delay encroaching on social media. Calls to his Jacksonville office about the P3 program have increased, but many appear to be unaware of the deadline.

“We’re getting calls regarding the PPP program and general calls about how people should apply and what to do, but not necessarily about the deadline,” Sen said. “If they need the funds, they have to be proactive and make sure they request the funds within the applicable deadlines. It’s up to them to decide….

Actual PPP loan applications can be filed with banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions. Instructions and details about the program can be found on the Small Business Administration website at SBA.gov.

At Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida, officials help local small business owners get loans.

“A lot of people have understood that. Many of our clients have been successful, ”said Janice Donaldson, SBDC Regional Director at UNF.

There are several stipulations for loans which have an interest rate of 1%. There were so many applications initially that the federal government suspended the program in April, then resumed it with the June 30 deadline.

Donaldson said the initial rush for loan applications was incredible.

“The biggest complaint we received in the early days, when there were so many people applying, was that they [PPP] ran out of money and they were inundated, ”Donaldson said. “In a compliment to the federal government, they tried to withdraw the money as fast as they could to help small businesses. But there was a lot of confusion among the participating lenders.

The SBDC initially tried to help calm the lending fervor and helped steer small business owners to the right lenders.

The SBDC website, sbdc.unf.edu, has a list of participating lenders and other suggested guidelines for applying for loans. Donaldson acknowledged that there was still some confusion and that any small business owner who has been affected by the coronavirus should at least start the application process before Tuesday’s deadline.

It is not just traditional banks that offer loan applications. Even organizations like PayPal offer PPP loan applications.

“All of these institutions that do this are not your typical banks,” Donaldson said. “If they [small business owners] were turned down by their bank, it’s not their only hope.

Bernie Dandridge, Business Loan Manager for Florida Capital Bank, processed Cornelius’ loan application and helped her get the PPP loan to keep her school afloat. He declined to disclose the loan amount, but Dandridge said he was able to get the loan within 10 days of the request.

Dandridge said he had a long-standing professional relationship with Cornelius which helped speed up the process. But he also informed her that the PPP process is a loan, at least initially.

“This is a loan and if you follow the guidelines correctly it can turn into a grant,” Dandridge said ahead of the federal review of the loan cancellation.

“You have to keep the proper records. You have to ask for forgiveness, ”Dandridge said. “But if you don’t do what they tell you to do, you’ll have a loan that you have to pay back.”

Dandridge himself has processed around 30 applications for PPP loans. He said the speed with which the federal government delivered the program was a “miracle.” But there are details to follow.

“The most important thing they need to understand is how the loan amount is calculated – it’s based on your average salary expense over the past 12 months,” Dandridge said. “We have done a lot of loans where people have provided us with their payroll records.”

Ultimately, Dandridge said small business owners shouldn’t underestimate the amount of help they can get through the P3 program. And as the deadline for applications draws near, he said some business owners might be surprised at how quickly they get PPP assistance.

“I think there’s a misconception out there that these things take forever. It’s just not the case, ”said Dandridge.

He acknowledged that the wait could be longer at large financial institutions such as large banks where loan officers have been inundated with requests. But the key is that business owners are looking for alternative institutions.

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