Federal government offers relief to small businesses

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Federal Relief Programs like the Paycheck Protection Program, are now available because of the economic aid to hard-hit Small Businesses Act passed by Congress last December. 

Josh Rogers, president and CEO of Newtown Macon says they’ve been offering free coaching and weekly webinars since the federal relief programs began last year.

“It’s great to come talk to Newtown and get some assistance,” Rogers said. “You need one on one to make sure you don’t leave any money on the table that could sustain your business.”

Rogers says small businesses should apply for everything they qualify for even if they think they don’t need it. He says the federal relief could be helpful if your business faces a slump in sales down the road.

“This is already funded,” Rogers said. “The applications are already open but there are limited amounts of money in each of the programs. So there is a chance the money could run out if you don’t go ahead and apply now.”

Federal Relief Programs

Currently, the programs available are: 

  • (2) rounds of Paycheck Protection Program
  • Employee Retention Tax Credit Program
  • Small Business Association Loan. 

Rogers says the Shuttered Venues Grant should be available in a few weeks. He also says businesses could qualify for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“Every one of those programs has got different restrictions and qualifications,” Rogers said. “So it could take a little time to just go through your business and figure out everyone you qualify for and then get those applications submitted.”

The Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Yvonne Williams says they offer seminars and virtual events that business owners can go back and view multiple times if they’d like. 

“You gotta be proactive and you just gotta take your time,” Williams. “I know people are running their businesses but that’s the beauty of virtual technology. We have websites, we have recordings, we have great content. That leads you to other opportunities for resources.”

Williams encourages people to continue to shop and eat locally as much as possible.

“Doing business in macon is a very very great thing to do for your chamber members and for the community at large,” Williams said.

Small businesses with 20 employees or less can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program for the next two weeks.  It ends March 9 at 5 p.m.

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Ariel comes to Macon from Greenville, South Carolina where she worked for Fox Carolina as a photojournalist for 4 years. She was part of the team that won a Southeast Emmy for their coverage of Hurricane Dorian. During her time in Greenville she realized her true passion is on-air reporting. She's excited to join the Middle Georgia community to be able to tell the stories of the people who live there. She graduated from the University of South Florida in 2014 with a degree in Mass Communications. She’s originally from Boca Raton, Florida. She has 2 dogs (1 is back home) and a cat. When she's not at work she can be found training as an aerialist or exploring her new home. She also loves a good TV binge, her current favorite shows to watch are The Office, Gilmore Girls, and The West Wing. Feel free to reach out if you have a news tip or just want to say hello.