After calling off broader talks on an economic stimulus package, President Trump reversed course Tuesday night, urging Congress to approve smaller relief measures, including funding for small-business loans. Yet there is still a great deal of uncertainty about when another stimulus bill will deliver emergency aid to millions of Americans impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, including small-business owners.
“The real problem is there just isn’t enough financial help right now, especially if your business did not qualify to get it before,” said Jill Johnson, CEO of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership, a non-profit business consulting firm in Newark, New Jersey.
The federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program approved more than 5.2 million loans totaling $525 billion in emergency relief funding. For many small-business owners who received those loans, however, that money has run out. And others are still struggling.
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Getting an infusion of funding from another federal stimulus package could be one option — someday. Yet, rather than wait and see what happens with new federal help, experts say small-business owners in need of financial relief should take these steps now:
1. Contact your existing lender or search for a new one
“Talk to your bank to discuss financing options, restructuring or payment deferrals on existing loans,” said Detra Miller, head of the women- and minority-owned business team at M&T Bank.
Continue to build relationships with lending institutions for access to credit, agreed Ken Alozie, managing director at Greenwood Capital Advisors. “Start with the bank that provided you with a PPP loan.”
Explore other lenders, too. While loan approval rates declined slightly from August to September, according to the latest Biz2Credit Small