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Stimulus package to help small businesses with disaster loans

The $2 trillion stimulus package is aimed at helping families and small businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak.

MACON, Ga. — Maria Gilbert owns Bridals by Gilbert in downtown Perry. She says she decided to close doors two weeks ago, because social distancing is nearly impossible for employees.

"We're actually in a dressing room with them physically dressing them, a wedding gown isn't something you can physically put on by yourself," she said.

With a staff of five people, she says she had to tell three of them to stop clocking in.

"To have to call and tell your, we consider our employees our family, so to have to call and tell these girls that I can't have you come into work, we can't work, because I can't pay you," Gilbert said.

With nearly $350 billion set aside to help small businesses out of the $2 trillion stimulus bill, Gilbert says she's doing her research.

"There's some different guidelines for sole proprietorship and corporations, we're sole proprietorship, so we've got to figure out where that puts us, what we qualify for, what we won't quality for, how do we file for it," she said.

According to the Small Business Administration website, business owners in all 50 states are currently eligible to apply for a low-interest disaster loan, but it doesn't give any loan amounts until the application is complete. 

"Anybody who's a small business owner needs to pay attention to this bill and see how it could help them and see how they could qualify for loan forgiveness," said financial advisor Sherri Goss.

Goss says people that are self-employed or freelancers should also look into how they can benefit, through unemployment.

"You're talking about the self-employed person who is a hairdresser, they've shut down all the salons, they're now eligible for unemployment benefits, plus they can get an additional $600," she said.

Gilbert says getting this loan could make up for some of the business she's lost in the last few weeks.

To apply for the loan, the small business disaster loan application can be found here.

MORE ON THE STIMULUS RELIEF PACKAGE

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FACTS NOT FEAR | At 13WMAZ, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the coronavirus. To see our full coverage, visit our site section here: www.13wmaz.com/Coronavirus.