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Trump signs $484 billion coronavirus relief package aimed to help small businesses


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — A $484 billion federal coronavirus relief package was officially approved Friday.

The bulk of the money is intended to help the small business community stay afloat during the pandemic until the U.S. economy reopens.

Many of those businesses are in the Bay Area.

With a stroke of his sharpie marker, President Donald Trump signed the coronavirus aid bill into law, refueling the small business administration’s paycheck protection program with more than $310 billion dollars.

This comes after the first round of PPP quickly dried up.

“The replenishing of the PPP loan is a huge deal for small businesses in the Bay Area,” Jay Cheng said. “In San Francisco, across the country.”

The spokesperson of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Jay Cheng said small businesses who missed out of the first round of federal dollars will be able to apply again hoping for better results.

“I can tell you that from our conversations with banks and our lenders who are members in the chamber, we have thousands of businesses who have applied for the PPP loan and are still waiting to hear back,” Cheng said. “Waiting for that loan to be replenished.”

A portion of this round of federal relief dollars will be set aside for small businesses that do not have existing relationships with lending institutions. Minority-owned businesses often find themselves in that category, says Cheng.

“In San Fancisco and in the Bay Area, you see more minority-owned and women-owned businesses than you would in other parts of the country,” Cheng said. “San Francisco Chamber of Commerce membership well over 50% of our businesses are minority-owned or women-owned businesses. This is a big deal.”

This is undoubtedly a challenging time for the small business community, but the SF Chamber finds hope in the federal government funding the loan program and in businesses keeping themselves alive access the stimulus dollars.

“I think we are hopeful because we see a lot of small businesses doing a lot of innovative things to move forward. Companies like Boba Guys slowly reopening their stores in Hayes Valley, saying we are going to experiment with what we can do in this new world,” Cheng said. “I think that’s the kind of innovation we need in a post-COVID-19 recovery because this is going to take a long time. We’re really optimistic that if anywhere, San Francisco businesses have the kind of ingenuity to make it through this process.”

According to the small business administration website, the paycheck protection program loan will be forgiven based upon the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels.

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