'Don't give up': Small businesses struggle to get loans in Springfield

The president of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce is urging business owners who are applying to not give up.

Posted: Apr 27, 2020 6:42 PM
Updated: Apr 27, 2020 6:48 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- The second round of the Paycheck Protection Program launched on Monday, but some small businesses are still struggling to get the financial help they need.

The federal program gives companies with less than 500 employees 1% interest loans that are forgivable if they spend 75% of it on their payroll. A total of $130 billion is up for grabs this time around, $40 billion less than the first round, which ran out in less than two weeks. According to CNN, users experienced error messages and slowdowns on Monday.

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Vonnie Mikkelsen, president of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, is urging business owners who are applying to not give up.

"Don't give up, no need to give up yet. It's frustrating, we understand that," Mikkelsen said. "I think that quite honestly, try as many avenues as are available you."

Sean Carney owns Simply Cycle, a bicycle shop on Main Street in Springfield. He said they would qualify but said his credit union doesn't do small business loans. He said when he reached out to three other banks, they turned him down because he's not already a member and they're not taking new applications.

"We've got rent, we've got bills, we've ordered all this stuff for spring, and it's very frustrating," Carney said.

Josh Matthews and wife Sarah own Lovely cafe. They opened their doors on Valentine Day. Matthews said they didn't qualify because they did not have the finical history needed for the application and don't have employees.

"We were only open for a month, and they wanted at least two months," Matthews said.

They are now running a grocery store out of the cafe. Customers place their orders online and pick up their food at the store.

"Everyone that's ordering is supporting us more than they know," Matthews said.

Mikkelsen said business owners struggling to apply for the program can reach out to them for help.

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