Metro Firms Hope For Pandemic Aid As PPP Loan Applications Reopen | FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV


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SHAWNEE, Kansas – Companies in the Kansas City subway continue to struggle to manage the financial burden of the pandemic.

But there is new hope: the next round of funding for the Business Support Paycheck Protection Program is now available.

Companies that qualify could be eligible for a forgivable loan worth thousands of dollars. Even companies that received a PPP loan in the first round can apply again this time.

During the first round of PPP loans, there were many concerns that the money might not reach businesses in need. The Small Business Administration listened to the feedback and this time made some changes.

Many local businesses hope that a PPP loan will help them stay afloat.

Monkey Bizness in Shawnee is an indoor play facility for children. Owner Kristen Rowell said the pandemic has taken its toll on her non-essential business.

(Courtesy Photo of Monkey Bizness Shawnee)

“We just saw a huge drop in sales, which also resulted in a decrease in our workforce,” said Rowell. “They had some customers willing to put on a mask and do it only for the point of sale. But then we had a lot of customers, as you said, they just weren’t ready to take this risk. “

The decline in sales and her good relationship with her bank opened the door for her to qualify for the first round of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program.

“I don’t know what we would have done without the PPP loan. I honestly do not know. I think it has definitely been a lifesaver for us personally, as a family, for the people we employ, and for the community we serve, ”said Rowell.

A UMKC study found that of 4,677 PPP loans distributed in the KC region, 24 went to black-owned companies, 34 to Spanish-owned companies, 33 to Asian-owned companies, and 250 to company-owned companies walked by women.

This time there are changes to reach the underserved communities. Justin Ikerionwu, Business Development Officer at Alt-Cap, is part of a team that helps companies apply for funding.

“The SBA has made it a high priority to prioritize small businesses with up to or fewer than 10 employees, companies with sales up to $ 250,000 for their business, and low- to middle-income companies,” said Ikerionwu.

The SBA now allows business owners to apply through collaborative financial institutions such as Alt-Cap.

“We have put together a technical support team that can sit with the companies and guide them through the documentation collection process,” said Ikerionwu.

Rowell filed her second PPP application Tuesday afternoon. She said this time was a lot easier than the first.

“While we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, this next round of PPP will definitely bring us to an end,” said Rowell.

Applications must be submitted by March 31st, but experts warn business owners not to wait until the last minute.

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