‘Here’s our chance’: Small businesses hopeful more relief money will come

Small businesses hopeful more relief money will come

ATHENS, Ala. (WAFF) - The U.S. Senate approved a nearly $500 billion coronavirus relief bill that would help struggling small businesses. The first round of relief money was quickly exhausted, while dozens of businesses in the Tennessee Valley were left out.

In the first round of relief, nearly 27,000 loans were processed in Alabama through the Paycheck Protection Program. This amounts to more than $4 billion.

“We want to make sure this money is available to small businesses that need it -- people that have invested their entire life savings," said Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin. "We appreciate what’s going on, and they’re hiring people back.”

Jessica Miller owns The Broken Brush Studio in downtown Athens. While she applied for assistance as soon as links went live, Miller says her application is still pending.

“It’s been about two and a half weeks now, almost three weeks since I applied,” explained Miller.

In the meantime, the paint studio has gotten creative.

Miller offers to-go kits and Facebook Live tutorials.

Secretary Mnuchin vowed to working Americans that things will be different this time around.

Redstone Federal Credit Union is just one of many financial institutions administering relief funds. They’ve already approved $12.5 million from the Paycheck Protection Program, and continued to receive applications from business owners even after the stimulus money ran out.

“Applications that did not get funded from the initial round are still in the pipeline and will be pushed through first,’’ said John Cook, RFCU Vice President, Lending. “We are hopeful that those applicants will be approved from the second round of stimulus money before it is exhausted,’’ Cook said.

The House is expected to vote on this relief bill Thursday morning, meaning it could be on the president’s desk by week’s end.

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