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Building back

Additional funding available through second round of PPP

— Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Anne Blankenship Area businesses may be eligible for additional funding through the Paycheck Protection Program. The funding was included in the stimulus package recently passed by Congress.

Area businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible to receive additional assistance.

Kimberly Tiefenthaler, director of the North Central Iowa Small Business Development Center in Fort Dodge, said the recent stimulus package passed by Congress has more funding available for businesses.

“Inside of that stimulus package is a second round of Paycheck Protection Program opportunities for small businesses,” she said.

Business owners who applied for relief in the first round of funding can also apply for the PPP in the second round.

“It’s also a good thing for those who didn’t take part in the first round,” she said. The deadline for businesses to apply for the funds is March 31.

Tiefenthaler said businesses should apply through their local lenders. This round of funding is a little different, she said, as businesses must demonstrate at least a 25 percent reduction in gross receipts in any quarter in 2020 compared to the same quarter in 2019.

“The business must be able to show that their business has been impacted by the pandemic by at least a 25 percent reduction,” she said.

The maximum amount of the PPP funds per business is calculated at 2.5 times the average monthly payroll cost, up to $2 million.

“A lot of our small town, rural businesses are not going to reach that $2 million cap, but it’s still a great program,” she said.

For the food service and accommodation industry, the funds are calculated on 3.5 times the average monthly payroll cost.

Tiefenthaler said the criteria for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan has also changed. Originally, small businesses could get $1,000 per employee up to $10,000 in aid, if they qualified.

“What has changed about that is the original intent of that from Congress was for each business to get a grant of $10,000 and not be based per employee,” she said.

Businesses are able to revisit that funding source if they received less than $10,000 and could be eligible to receive the difference between their original funding and $10,000.”

“That’s pretty big for our area businesses,” she said.

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted small businesses in many different ways — depending upon the type of business, how services are delivered and the type of products produced or sold, Tiefenthaler said.

“That impact really varied depending upon the type of business,” she said. “There are some manufacturing businesses that have actually increased production, depending upon what they produce and manufacture.”

Tiefenthaler encouraged area business owners to reach out to the Small Business Development Center if are struggling or looking for ways to continue operating in these challenging times

“It helps to not be in this alone and to be able talk confidentially with someone, to go over expenses, look at where cuts can be made — things like that,” she said. “If hard decisions have to be made for the time being, it helps to bounce that off of someone else who is objective. Those decisions are not easy to make.”

The Small Business Development Center — North Central Iowa, is located on the east side of the Iowa Central Community College Campus in Fort Dodge. The Iowa Central center serves entrepreneurs and existing businesses in 11 counties, including Hamilton County. Business owners can reach the SBDC by calling 515-574-1995 or emailing Tiefenthaler at kimberlyt@ncisbdc.com. Darcy Swon of Webster City works with Tiefenthaler as a part-time business counselor.

“Darcy and I handle all of the requests together. And we have an accountant, a retired SBDC director and others with skills and longtime experience in businesses to help,” she said.

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