Federally forgiven loans for small businesses in Northeast Wisconsin

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The newly passed CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) has allocated $350 billion to help small businesses across the country, and owners here in Northeast Wisconsin want to get their share of the money.

Photo courtesy: MGN

The U.S Chamber of Commerce suggests small business owners talk to lenders to better understand it all, but some examples of eligibility include small businesses or 501 (c)(3) nonprofits that have less than 500 employees, a sole-proprietor of a business or someone who is self-employed, among others.

Those qualified will be given a federally forgiven loan as long as it's used to maintain payroll during the pandemic or to restore it after.

It's something owner of Apricot Lane Boutique, Kim Verheyden,needs.

"We can use that to pay our employees, because we can backdate employees for that until February 15th which is awesome, and I'll be able to give them some sort of income to help compensate with unemployment," said Verheyden.

Not to mention rent and utilities, she said, and she's not alone. She's part of the Nest Co-work + Club in Green Bay with many small business owners needing support.

"Even our lenders, I talked to my local lender and he said we're still trying to figure out what it means and who qualifies and how things are forgiven," said Co-founder of The Nest Co-work + Club, Alex VandeHei.

The Greater Green Bay Chamber called 'We Still Mean Business' is another resource. The chamber said it can help with any questions and even has a list of employers looking to hire.

"We know the broader swath of eligibility is companies under 500 employees and there are a few special considerations for companies under 1500 employees but again all of those details are forthcoming so we will continue to update those on our resource page," said Kelly Armstrong, Greater Green Bay Chamber VP of Economic Development.