CASPER, Wyo. — A new round of Paycheck Protection Program assistance opened this week as a means of relief for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The loans are initially available through only community financial institutions with the U.S. Small Business Administration expressing a commitment to prioritize assistance for under-served communities.
One such institution offering PPP loans in Wyoming is the nonprofit community development financial institution MoFi, who said on Wednesday that they have already received hundreds of applications. Those applicants have requested an average loan size of around $20,000.
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“In the initial round of assistance last year, MoFi provided nearly 1,300 PPP loans to businesses in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming, with an average loan size of $26,000,” MoFi said.
MoFi says businesses which are eligible to apply for PPP assistance include:
- 501(c)(6) nonprofit organizations including business leagues and chambers of commerce)
- news organizations
- seasonal employers
- faith-based organizations
- small businesses
- sole proprietors
- independent contractors
“The SBA has also said it remains committed to helping underserved small businesses that face potential barriers to accessing capital through traditional lenders,” MoFi said. “It is looking to community financial institutions like MoFi to ensure that PPP loans reach every person in need of the help, especially first-time applicants, sole proprietors, independent contractors and others that might not be able to obtain one from a bank or credit union.”
The new round of PPP loans are funded through the federal CARES II Act which included $284 billion for the program. The forgivable loans are aimed to help businesses keep their workforce employed amid the pandemic.
“Loan funds can be used to cover payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent, utilities and other operations expenses,” MoFi says. “The loans will be fully forgiven if funds are used to cover eligible expenses.”
MoFi President Dave Glaser added: “From rural chambers of commerce to childcare facilities, restaurants, Main Street businesses and independent contractors, we’ve seen an overwhelming amount of interest from both first- and second-time applicants, a testament to the urgent need for economic relief in our region. We’re excited to be working alongside banks and credit unions in our communities to ensure that everyone who needs a PPP loan is able to get one.”
People are encouraged to apply as soon as possible with applications accepted on a first-come, first serve basis.
“MoFi is providing PPP loans up to $250,000, and businesses must be located in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon or Washington,” MoFi says. “Application instructions can be found on MoFi’s website at https://www.mofi.org/paycheck-protection-program-loan/.”
This article originally appeared on Oil City News. Used with permission.
The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:
What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.
If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.
Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.
For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home if you’re sick
- Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.