OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As the pandemic rages on, businesses are trying to bounce back and a new round of federal loans are now up for grabs, with new restrictions.
Steve Clausen is familiar face at KFOR, keeping the News 4 fam fit for years.
But caught up in a COVID world, forced to shut his gym’s doors, One Healthy Bod (OHB) fought for survival with help from PPP small business loans.
“You invest all this time in employees, and when the government shut us down, all these employees are off work,” Steve explained. “So the first round of PPP really wasn’t to help me, it was to help the employees get some money in their pockets.”
Now, months later, businesses are back open, and a new round of loans are available.
Kitt Letcher with the Better Business Bureau says time is of the essence, but finding a banker is key.
“If you’re wanting to get this funding, I’d try to get your paperwork in as quickly as possible,” she explained. “I think the hardest thing we see for businesses is having a banker they’re used to working with.”
Local tax attorney Travis Watkins, has helped small businesses through both rounds.
He says this time, it appears the money will truly be going to mom and pops, and many of the issues from the first round have been ironed out.
“There were larger companies than were supposed to be using the first round, that were involved in that one,” Travis said. “Everyone was flying by the seat of their pants. The banks didn’t have a whole lot of guidance from the SBA [Small Business Administration]. The forms were ever changing in that first round.”
But those forms remain complicated, and businesses are asking for help.
“It’s so complex,” Steve Clausen noted. “You have kind of one shot at those things, and if you mess it up, you kind of get thrown.”
With new money, comes new rules.
Travis and Kitt tell our team this round, businesses must have 300 employees or less.
They must have used, or intend to use, all of the previous PPP loans received before receiving the next round.
They can only ask for up to $2-million.
They must show a 25% reduction in gross receipts, for at least one quarter of last year, compared to 2019.
Proving that last point though, can prove tricky.
“[Some banks are] requiring owners of businesses to give an entire profit loss statement for the quarters they’re showing losses for,” said Travis. “A lot of people don’t have their 2020 documents ready to go yet. They don’t have their financials in order to quickly show that.”
Travis Watkins has prepared a document for businesses navigating these loan applications:
While getting those applications finished, businesses like OHB are trying to navigate returning to normal amidst a pandemic.
“Believe it or not, if you just spend a couple hundred dollars on wet wipes and sanitation, you’re spending double that now,” said Steve. “When your revenue’s down, but your costs are higher, and you’re having to accommodate all this, the money’s gotta come from somewhere.”
Steve hopes some of that lost revenue will come from this round of loans. With $285-billion available, and a long process ahead, he knows it’s not a sprint, but a marathon.