SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – You might not think that a few hundred dollars could make or break a business, but it could be for very small businesses in Utah who might not realize that help is available.
Robbie Preece owns and operates Salt City Rollers Segway Tours. For five years now, he has been taking people in, around and above Salt Lake City to see its historical and natural wonders on Segway scooters.
“It was on a really cool trajectory,” said Preece. “Business was growing on average, about 30% to 40% each season. “
But when COVID-19 arrived in town, the Salt City Rollers were hit hard.
“Yes, business has suffered a significant reduction,” explained Preece. “I think about two months ago I think my business bank account was in something like $ 28. It’s hard.
Preece thought he had no chance of getting a paycheck protection program loan to keep the Salt City Rollers rolling. After all, he is the sole owner. It’s just him, there’s no one on his payroll.
But then he heard about the nonprofit lender, MoFi, so he applied for a PPP loan through them.
“Within a week, I was approved,” Preece said. “And I’m not going to say that I don’t have any worries at all now.” But, it’s just a huge weight on my shoulders.
“One of the things we try to do is make sure that every small business that needs or wants a P3 has access to it,” said Dave Glaser, president and CEO of MoFi.
Founded in 1986, MoFi is a Montana-based community development financial institution specializing in small business loans. It now offers PPP loans up to $ 250,000 in several western states, including Utah. These loans go even to the smallest of small businesses.
“The smallest P3 loan we’ve made in Utah so far is $ 390,” Glaser said.
The largest loan is considerably larger at $ 26,000, while the average is $ 16,000.
“It’s so important that all of these small businesses realize that they’re eligible because it’s something that’s going to help them get to the other side and not have to pay back,” Glazer explained.
After a handful of huge corporations grabbed much of the PPP money set aside last year, President Joe Biden wants to make sure that some of it gets to small businesses.
“America’s small businesses are hurting and they are hurting badly, and they need help now” Biden said Monday as he announced changes to the paycheck protection program to help those businesses.
On Wednesday, his administration made PPP loans available only to small businesses with fewer than 20 employees for 14 days. Eligible businesses include individual stores like Salt City Rollers Segway Tours.
“It’s actually incredibly motivating for a bright future,” said Preece.
Glaser said that as long as a business owner uses the P3 loan according to the rules, it is 100% forgivable. The exclusive window for small businesses and sole traders to apply for P3 loans ends on March 10. The deadline for all PPP applications is March 31.