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Economic Aid to CNY Small Businesses Can Help Pay Workers, Includes Gig-Economy

Chris Bolt/WAER News

People at the Small Business Administration are in overdrive helping Central New York businesses stay afloat or pay their workers while shut down, thanks to several new programs. 

Jeffrey Boyce just started as new branch manager of the Syracuse office.  He says an important change was declaring the entire state a ‘disaster area’. 

That allows loans usually used after natural disasters to be available … with an instant infusion of cash.

“That’s the ability for small businesses to apply for up to $10,000 in an emergency quick disbursement to aid them in dealing with the impacts of the shutdown.  But the program that’s really receive a lot of attention is the Paycheck Protection Program.”

These paycheck protection loans help businesses pay workers for eight weeks, even if the business is closed.  If funds are used only for payroll, rent, and other business costs, they are completely forgivable and become grants.  Boyce adds all programs are open to the self-employed and other entrepreneurs, as well. 

Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News
Businesses that can utilize assistance programs could be in better financial shape once the economy opens up again.

“Whether you’re a small business, with 500 or fewer employees, … or perhaps you’re a sole proprietor, an independent contractor, self-employed individual. Those folks as well can apply for the various SBA programs.  And importantly, the Paycheck protection Program is also a source of assistance.”

He says these type of workers, including those in the so-called gig-economy, simply average their income as payroll, and if loan funds are used for pay and other business expenses, the loan can become forgiven. 

Some loans come from banks or other lenders.  But Boyce suggests starting at the Small Business Administration website where there’s guidance on all the resources. 

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.