LANSING, MI. (WILX) - The $2 Trillion federal coronavirus economic stimulus package gives small business access to $350 billion in forgivable loans.
The U.S. Senate passed a record-setting stimulus package late Wednesday night. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives.
"The interest, loan forgiveness, there's just so many different items that a business really needs to be able to look at and we're working to provide answers," said Steve Japinga, Vice President of Public Affairs for the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce.
As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Small Business Administration will give out the loans, which are designed to make sure that businesses don’t lay off their employees.
To get the loan business will have to employ less than 500 workers and meet certain requirements.
Japinga says The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce is sorting through the legislation to get accurate information to its members.
"We're going to be having several webinars to explain to our members exactly what's in the legislation and how they can properly go through and apply for whatever those grants or loans are," said Japinga.
Japinga says the big win from the legislation is the direct cash flow to businesses.
"I think everybody is seeing that cash flow is number one for businesses, so we're hoping that this is for the short term but also at some point there may be different phases that are going to have to come in from the federal government,” said Japinga.
Businesses are expected to see cash in hand by May. Japinga says whether they can hold out that long is still yet to be seen.
"I believe it will help in the short term and again it's kind of that day by day, hour by hour, seeing again where those gaps that need to be filled are. But for the short term, yes this will be very helpful not only to the small business but the direct individual assistance to individuals and families,” said Japinga.
The loans will carry a maximum interest rate of 4%. The government will forgive the amount of the loan for businesses that maintain the average size of their workforce, meaning they'd only have to pay the interest.
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