President Joe Biden recently signed the PPP Extension Act of 2021, which will extend the Paycheck Protection Program an extra two months to May 31, into law.
Local businesses across the nation have been working hard to keep their doors open after the start of a global pandemic hit them hard. From supply chains to day-to-day finances, hundreds of mom-and-pop shops here in the Gem State have been impacted, but thanks to the Paycheck Protection Program--or PPP loans--many are back to welcoming customers once again.
"This past year for Idaho alone there's been over 46,000 PPP loans that have been issued--and nearly 3.4 billion dollars distributed to Idaho businesses," explained Gary Eisenbraun, the Director of the Boise District of the U.S. Small Business Administration. "To keep the businesses going, even if they don't have any business. It keeps those small businesses employing and paying their employees."
For businesses like 208 Discs, PPP loans have kept the lights on.
"It got a little tight in here," explained Jason Oxsen, owner of the shop.
Idaho News 6 first caught up with Oxsen earlier this year. We had planned to feature the shop in our Made in Idaho series--but just days before our interview, the shop was forced to close.
The shop is one of the only disc golf shops in the entire valley, so when it was forced to close, the local disc golf community was crushed.
"It's a family-type community," Oxsen said.
The shop has been around for nearly a decade, and with this past season came a surge of interest in the sport like Oxsen has never seen before. There was plenty of demand, but thanks to COVID-19 there wasn't enough supply.
"People took up disc golf and it exploded last year," Oxsen said. "There's just only so much product out there... and a lot of us trying to get it."
For Oxsen, the weeks he was closed allowed him to regroup. He got a PPP loan and was able to get some help from suppliers and 208 Discs was able to reopen in early March.
"It's unprecedented, it's not anything we've ever dealt with before. It can definitely cause a little bit of panic," Oxsen remembered. "(We) just took a couple weeks break, regrouped, sent some emails and made some phone calls--so here we are!"
Under the PPP extension, businesses have until May 31 to apply for PPP loans. The Small Business Administration has an extra 30 days after that to distribute funding. The SBA says it's important to remember to apply for forgiveness too.
"If they use at least 60 percent of the loan in payroll or other operating expenses--acceptable expenses for that, they can get that excused."
It's not yet clear if this will be the last PPP extension, or if it will be extended again. The SBA says that depends on Congress.
If you'd like more information on the application process or have questions, the SBA has lots of resources on their website.