Pittsburg Chamber offers insight on next round of Paycheck Protection

PITTSBURG, Kan. – There’s no doubt that the pandemic has hit small businesses hard. Even with community support, a Pittsburg boutique owner admits it has been a challenge in the retail and service industry.

“I feel like we’ve weathered pretty well, but it hasn’t been without its struggles. During the lockdown, it became important for us to pivot, go online, do social media selling,” explained Sydney Anselmi, owner of Audacious Boutique.

Adaptation and federal funding have helped businesses like Audacious Boutique stay afloat. Anselmi employs four part-time workers and one full-time employee. She’s looking into this next round of Paycheck Protection to keep it that way.

“The IDL and the PPP rounds have been really helpful in making sure that I can keep that full time person employed,” said Anselmi.

In its first wave, the program supported about 2,000 jobs in Pittsburg alone, nearly $20 million. The Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce expects more businesses to take part in the second round.

“Even some businesses that weren’t struggling quite as much when this was around last year are now and so it couldn’t come at a better time and will really help a lot of our businesses get through until the vaccine is more readily available and maybe things start to return to normal a little bit,” said Blake Benson, President of the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce

There are some changes to the program this year. Loans are being capped at $2 million instead of $10 million and the maximum number of employees has been reduced down from 500 to 300 to focus on helping smaller businesses. The Chamber says it pays to be organized.

“We encourage everybody to go ahead and get with your tax professional, get with your lending institution because you do need to have your tax returns, you need to have payroll reports, you need to have rent information, utility information, because all that will be necessary to apply for paycheck protection,” said Benson.

“There are a lot of resources out there that people can tap into, it’s just a matter of seeking them out and asking for help and everybody’s wanting to help and wants to get you the information that you need,” said Anselmi.

The program application is set to open next week.

You can check out the SBA’s website for updates.