COLUMBIA, Mo (KMIZ)
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to drag down businesses the public has been told to avoid, non-profits are also trying to stay afloat and provide services.
The Small Business Administration is allowing non-profits that meet the criteria to apply for loans under the recently passed federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act.
Karin Bell of The Bank of Missouri said there is no difference between the applications for small businesses and non-profits.
"Normally SBA does not allow non-profits to apply for SBA loans, they are not eligible," Bell said. "But with this program, the SBA did realize that these are small businesses that employ people, so they opened up this new program to allow non-profits and religious organizations to apply."
The federally-backed loans are part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides funding to pay employees, including insurance costs, along with two months' worth of rent, mortgage costs and utilities needed to operate.
Bell said non-profits and businesses can apply for forgiveness through their bank and not have to pay back the loan if they meet certain requirements.
With the money businesses and non-profits receive, up to 25 percent can be used for rent and utilities, or else it will not be forgiven and the business will have to repay the loan.
Bell said The Bank of Missouri has increased its staff working on these loans, but there is still some information they are waiting to receive.
"There are a lot of borrowers who are applying for this and very anxious," Bell said. "All banks understand this and are really working as fast as we can with every effort possible."
Local non-profits in Columbia have applied for the funding, as many have been forced to lay off employees and reduce services.
Services for Independent Living is a non-profit in Columbia that helps people with disabilities, seniors and veterans live in their own homes by providing transportation and other services. It has applied for PPP funding.
Executive Director Jessica Macy works with many others in the non-profit community in Columbia and said many are trying to figure out how to stay afloat during the COVID-19 outbreak.
"We are a huge economic generator," Macy said about non-profits. "We employ a lot of people, we have a lot of revenues running through our doors."
While SIL is still providing transportation and other services, Macy said they have had to furlough four drivers.
"One of the good things is that people are staying home which means they don't need transportation, but that also means we have to cut back our workforce," Macy said.
Macy hopes the PPP funding will allow her organization to bring back its employees once service comes back to normal and allow for a seamless transition back to normalcy.
"We all just want to provide the same services and keep helping and serving people, whether you are a restaurant or you're a non-profit," Macy said. "We all want to do that and most importantly keep people employed."
Watch ABC 17 News at 9 on KQFX and 10 on KMIZ for a full report.