MINNEAPOLIS — A new national survey from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is shedding light on how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting small businesses.
The survey found one in four small businesses have been shut down temporarily and 43% of owners believe they have less than six months until they go out of business for good.
And an alarming one in ten small business owners think they’ll be forced to shut down for good in less than a month.
"There's a great deal of confusion. We are in unknown times," says Viki Stute with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.
Uncertainty is all around us, but Stute says there are resources available for business owners if they know where to look.
"We know that time is of the essence to many of these companies in terms of their survival," Stute says.
The Minnesota chamber just launched a new COVID-19 toolkit with information about loan programs and other support systems owners can use to stay in business.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is also getting the word about new federal low interest loans.
"Essentially they’re economic injury disaster loans," DEED Deputy Commissioner Kevin McKinnon says.
Those loans are managed by the federal government’s Small Business Administration (SBA).
McKinnon says the loans can go up to $2,000,000 and they come with about a three-week turnaround time.
For business owners who need the money sooner, McKinnon says the SBA just launched a new emergency program that can send out money faster.
"It’s called the advance program, which provides $10,000 within three days," McKinnon says.
Governor Walz and the legislature also just approved $30-million for the state's Small Business Emergency Loan Guarantee Program.
"Essentially the loans range in value from $2,500 up to $35,000,” McKinnon says.
Various cities are also chipping in.
On Friday morning, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced the city has set aside more than $2,000,000 for new zero-interest loans.
"The forgivable loans for COVID-19 impacted businesses will be available for small businesses with 20 or fewer employees," Mayor Frey says.
With so many options for owners it may seem overwhelming to find the right fit.
Stute says experts at numerous agencies are just an email or phone call away.
"We remain poised and ready to help," Stute says.
For more information on state programs administered by DEED, click here.
For the latest information on federal programs administered by the Small Business Administration, click here.
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The state of Minnesota has set up a hotline for general questions about coronavirus at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903, available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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