PALM DESERT- Through a virtual setting, Congressman Ruiz and local experts held a town hall for small businesses.
“I want the individuals to feel empowered with knowledge so they can develop a strategy about how to help keep their business open and how to help their employees,” said Congressman Ruiz.
One main area discussed during the meeting was loans.
For companies with a staff of less than 500 people, there are a few main options including the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Payment Protection Program.
“There are two separate programs E.I.D.L, included in that this is the advanced portion, and there’s also the paycheck protection program. E.I.D.L. is direct through the S.B.A. through our website, and the PPP is with a lender,” said Natalie Orta with the Small Business Administration.
The programs offer low interest loans that are forgivable in some cases.
People who’ve already applied are wondering when their funds will arrive.
“The timeline depends on a lot of things, it’s the number of applications a bank receives where they are in the line on putting this application in, how much staff a bank has. I really can’t give a number per say,” said Orta.
The S.B.A’s Disaster Loan portal has crashed several times due to high demand, and some funds are on hold while banks sort through the requests.
“We are working as hard as we can to identify the lenders out there that are willing to take applications from clients or applications from people who are not currently their clients,” said Orta.
While the funds do have a fixed limit, there is still money available.
“We’re advocating and trying to find the bottlenecks to speed things through because there is a very strong sense of urgency,”said Ruiz.
The S.B.A is encouraging small businesses to take part quickly.
“We do not know if there will be additional funds, we are encouraging small businesses to apply as soon as possible,” said Orta.