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Rebound Idaho: Small businesses try to stay afloat while awaiting loans from a new relief bill

The Paycheck Protection Program is out of funds.
Posted at 9:32 PM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 00:26:38-04

IDAHO — At Idaho News 6 we are honored to announce the launch of our new series of reports called “The Rebound: Idaho," led by our team of dedicated Idaho-based journalists. In the thick of COVID-19's devastating economic impacts, we are committed to uncovering community solutions to help Idahoans get back to work, make ends meet, and manage the pressure.

Idaho News 6's Madeline White will lead The Rebound: Idaho's reporting efforts, and today she is taking a look at how Idaho small businesses are doing, after the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program maxed out last week.

Hope could be on the horizon -- starting with a new deal in Washington. But first, Idaho business owners who are still awaiting their Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans are being forced to find ways to stay afloat in order to keep up with their dues.

A report from the U.S. Small Business Administration on PPP approvals through April 13 show that 8,846 small businesses were approved for loans in Idaho, and a total of roughly $1.4 billion has been approved for those Idaho businesses.

But there are still some Idaho business owners who have not seen a dime from this program after applying.

Allyson Galloway is one of those people. The self-employed drone pilot and owner of WISPP productions says she was approved, but never heard anything.

"I received notification last week saying my funds were secured and my application for the PPP was approved and that I would hear from my lender in 24-48 hours to sign paperwork," said Galloway on Monday. "Haven’t heard anything since."

Suzi Arehart is another one of those people.

She says she's owned Suzi's Hair and Nail Salon in Nampa for 26 years, and that she applied for the PPP as soon as it expanded to include self-employed people on April 10th, however, says she hasn't received any funds or heard anything since.

"I applied the day they opened it to sole proprietors," said Arehart. "And haven’t received any word. I’m one of the luckier ones, my landlord is amazing! But it still doesn’t stop the other bills."

Lawmakers, however, are signaling that a new relief deal is coming soon, in a deal that would include $300 billion for the exhausted Paycheck Protection Program, and about $60 billion in loans for economic disaster aid, according to Politico.

We spoke with Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson's communications director, and while she said he was unable to do an interview with us Monday, he is pushing for an agreement on Capitol Hill with the urgency of time in mind.

Separately, a joint statement by the Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza said, “The SBA has processed more than 14 years’ worth of loans in less than 14 days… We urge Congress to appropriate additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Program—a critical and overwhelmingly bipartisan program—at which point we will once again be able to process loan applications, issue loan numbers, and protect millions more paychecks.”

We will keep you updated on how a potential new deal in Washington D.C. could impact Idaho’s small business owners.