TEMPLE, TX — Small business owners could get some of their loans forgiven due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
That relief will help many still struggling to get back on their feet since the spring shutdown.
The COVID crisis has dragged on so long that the federal government plans to forgive some of its Paycheck Protection Loans, giving small businesses some much needed breathing room as they enter their most important season of the year.
Misty Dollar had trouble at first getting her Paycheck Protection Loan.
She used the money to keep her store afloat when she finally got the loan.
She says loan forgiveness would help a lot.
"I'm pretty optimistic about it. I think it may take some time to figure out exactly how that's gonna work," she said.
Economists call the so- called PPP loans one of most important relief programs to come out of Washington, and that loan forgiveness may well come easy for some.
"For most small businesses, the forgiveness may well become automatic from what we're seeing right now," said Dr. Ray Perryman of The Perryman Group.
For now, confusion reigns, prompting the government to issue new guidelines on applying for forgiveness,
Experts say not to worry.
"If you applied for a PPP loan and received it and complied with the general principles of it of what it would be used for and kept good records, then I think the guidelines are going to be fine for you to receive the loan forgiveness," said Perryman.
In the meantime, small business owners have begun preparing for their biggest sales season of the year and say more than any stimulus, they need our help.
"Remember us this holiday season. And shop with us, shop local," said Amy Thomas of Zooty's Boutique.
It means supporting businesses that offer personal service and hard to find items we can't get anywhere else.
Dollar says she'll wait and apply for the help, but she'd rather make a sale any day.
"The last information I got from my lender was that I would receive an email and there would be an online portal to submit documentation and when that time comes I'll submit and then be told whether or not I'm approved for forgiveness," she said.
If you have a Paycheck Protection Loan, check with your bank to find out when you can apply for loan forgiveness and what documentation you’ll need.