COLUMBIA, MO (KMIZ)
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to bring down businesses the public has been urged to avoid, nonprofits are also trying to stay afloat and provide services.
The Small Business Administration allows nonprofits that meet the criteria to apply for loans under the recently passed federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act. .
Bank of Missouri’s Karin Bell said there was no difference between apps for small businesses and nonprofits.
“The SBA normally does not allow nonprofits to apply for SBA loans, they are not eligible,” Bell said. “But with this program, the SBA realized that it’s small businesses that employ people, so they opened up this new program to allow nonprofits and religious organizations to apply.”
The federally guaranteed loans are part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides funding to pay employees, including insurance costs, as well as two months’ rent, mortgage costs and public services necessary for operation.
Bell said nonprofits and businesses can request a rebate through their bank and not have to repay the loan if they meet certain conditions.
With the money businesses and nonprofits receive, up to 25% can be used for rent and utilities, otherwise it will not be forgiven and the business will have to repay the loan.
Bell said the Bank of Missouri has increased its staff working on these loans, but there is still information they are waiting to receive.
“There are a lot of borrowers asking for this who are very anxious,” Bell said. “All banks understand this and are really working as fast as possible with all possible efforts.”
Local nonprofits in Colombia have applied for the funding as many have been forced to lay off employees and cut services.
Services for Independent Living is a Colombian nonprofit that helps people with disabilities, seniors, and veterans live in their homes by providing transportation and other services. He applied for PPP funding.
Executive Director Jessica Macy works with many other members of Columbia’s nonprofit community and said many are trying to figure out how to stay afloat during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We’re a huge economic generator,” Macy said of nonprofits. “We employ a lot of people, we have a lot of revenue coming through our doors.”
While SIL still provides transportation and other services, Macy said they had to lay off four drivers.
“One of the good things is people are staying home, which means they don’t need transportation, but it also means we have to downsize,” Macy said.
Macy hopes the PPP funding will allow her organization to bring back its employees once service returns to normal and allow for a smooth transition back to normal.
“We all just want to provide the same services and continue to help and serve people, whether you’re a restaurant or a nonprofit,” Macy said. “We all want to do this and more importantly keep people employed.”
Watch ABC 17 News at 9 a.m. on KQFX and 10 a.m. on KMIZ for a full report.