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Small Business Chamber CEO calls for swift SBA loan allocation

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Frank Knapp Jr., president and CEO of the S.C. Small Business Chamber of Commerce, lauded the $2 trillion U.S. Senate relief bill in a recent statement but said it is only the first step toward recovery from COVID-19 damage to small business. 

Downtown Greenville before the first COVID-19 case was announced in the Upstate. (Photo/Molly Hulsey)He also cited a Businesses for Responsible Tax Reform survey in which 40% of small business owners  in shelter-in-place areas had already closed shop, while 30% of respondents working outside the restriction zones have also shuttered their business due to lack of demand.

“The bill’s Paycheck Protection Program, will go a long way in helping small businesses in the short term by providing federally guaranteed loans that can be forgiven to help them cover payroll, rent, utilities and mortgage interest,” Knapp said in the statement. “As welcome as this is, though, the ultimate need will be far greater. Our nation’s Main Street entrepreneurs and their employees will need economic help for the long term to recover from the precipitous decline in consumer demand and shut-down orders resulting from efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19.”

The survey also revealed that more than 88% of small business owners reported lost revenue with 70% losing half their revenue due to the global outbreak.

Knapp said swift allocation of U.S. Small Business Administration loan funding will bring critical relief to small businesses across the state.

“We anticipate small businesses will rush to apply for these loans,” he said. “The government must make sure lenders are ready and able to deploy the cash.”

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