Salt Lake company hopes new stimulus funds can keep doors open as pandemic rages on

SALT LAKE CITY – As many small businesses across the country struggle to stay afloat, desperately needed financial help is finally on the way.

On Monday evening, Congress approved the law on economic aid for small businesses, nonprofits and hard-hit sites – in the amount of $ 325 billion aid program that was part of the overall COVID-19 relief spending and aims to provide long-awaited additional help to hardest-hit local businesses, nonprofits and entertainment facilities that continue to struggle to recover effects of the crisis. Coronavirus pandemic.

“Last time it was a big help. I was able to keep my staff for another month and a half. Unfortunately after that funding ended I had to let most of them go, ”said Molly Kohrman, owner of Brownies! Brownies! Brownies! at Sugar House, which applied for loans under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act in the fall. “I had seven employees before the pandemic. I have now gone down to two and will probably be down to one next month. Additional funding would make a huge difference in whether we can stay open for a few more months or if we will close in a few months.

“I know of several companies in the region in the food industries in particular that are cutting back on their service – whether it’s hours, product line or staff – they are making big cuts over the next month in the hope that they will. will still be able to stay open, “Kohrman said.” But I know a lot of them are at this stage of playing day to day. “

A tray of Minty Browny brownies is pictured at Brownies! Brownies! Brownies! in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, December 22, 2020.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

She said the pandemic has been so heavy on revenue that she is worried about whether her store will be able to do so in the long term.

“If something doesn’t change in the very near future, then I’m looking to shut down permanently,” Kohrman said.

For the latter emergency assistance program, the law provides for a second round of forgivable loans for small businesses under the paycheck protection program. The plan makes improvements to PPP, funding grants to sites closed by the outbreak as well as promulgating emergency enhancements to other US Small Business Administration loan programs.

“This essential assistance will provide small business owners with the capital they need to survive the pandemic and includes essential resources for our smallest of local Utah businesses and nonprofits,” said Marla Trollan. , director of the Utah district office of the US Small Business Administration.

“In response to the new legislation, we will again set up our rapid response team and train them directly to answer general questions coming in for us and take referrals for more technical questions and inquiries from lenders,” she declared.

Contact details will be provided as soon as the team is formed, she said.

Small business owners and nonprofits can subscribe to the Utah SBA office newsletter at and Look for updates on Twitter: @SBA_Utah to stay on top of new programs and any changes they may be implemented in the coming weeks, SBA Utah District spokesperson Siobhan Carlile explained .

Some of the main points of the new federal aid plan include creating a second round of PPP loans for eligible companies, defining the eligibility conditions for the second PPP drawdown as entities with no more than 300 employees and those who can demonstrate a reduction of at least 25%. of gross revenue between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020, says a press release.

Naomi Kohrman works in her daughter's store, Brownies!  Brownies!  Brownies !, in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, December 22, 2020.

Naomi Kohrman works in her daughter’s store, Brownies! Brownies! Brownies !, in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, December 22, 2020.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

The new plan sets a maximum loan amount of 2.5 times the company’s average monthly salary costs, up to $ 2 million. The program also enables small businesses in the accommodation and food services industry to receive second-draw PPP loans equal to 3.5 times their average monthly salary costs to help these businesses ease national and local restrictions. that negatively impacted their results.

Borrowers receive full loan forgiveness if they spend at least 60% of their next P3 loan on staff costs over a period of their choice of eight to 24 weeks, the statement said.

The program asserts the eligibility of churches and religious organizations, while prohibiting a future White House administration from designating them as ineligible. The law also preserves the application of the membership rules to nonprofit organizations, specifically rendering Planned Parenthood ineligible.

The plan includes specific provisions that support first-time PPP borrowers with 10 or fewer employees, second-time PPP borrowers with 10 or fewer employees, first-time PPP borrowers who have been newly eligible, as well as second time PPP borrowers. . The plan also includes a set aside for loans made by community lenders, the statement said.

For more information on the new aid program and its fundraising programs, visit the SBA Utah District Office webpage or call 801-524-3209.