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C.O. small business owners worried as federal loan funds run out

SBA announced Thursday they've stopped processing new applications

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- On Thursday, the Small Business Administration stated on its website it is no longer accepting new applications for federal loans and grants due to funds being exhausted.

The $349 billion fund set up by Congress was intended to ease the financial burden on small business owners. Many financial institutions use a two-step approval process --firstly, through the bank, and secondly, through SBA.

Without additional funding, small businesses with pending applications that had not yet been submitted to SBA before funds were exhausted will likely not receive funding. This leaves the future of small businesses in Central Oregon uncertain.

One of the concerned business owners is Cydnee Schoettler, the owner of Dollhouse Beauty Lounge in Bend. She said she last stepped foot in her business March 8 before shutting down her doors to comply with Gov. Kate Brown's order to close non-essential businesses.

"It's nerve-wracking, to say the least," Schoettler told NewsChannel 21 Thursday. "It's something I can't not think about daily, because it's my livelihood and it's how I support my family. Unfortunately, I am starting to feel hopeless, as to getting help in a timely manner."

Schoettler said she will continue applying for unemployment benefits, but she said the wait for those is also uncertain.

Katy Brooks, CEO of the Bend Chamber of Commerce, shared a message for small business owners.

“Don’t give up hope yet, because there will be more money coming," Brooks said. "In the meantime, there are some things you can do to take more control. That's asking, 'Where else can I look for money?' 'Can I change my business plan?' and 'How do I prepare for reopening?'"

Brooks said small business owners should collaborate with each other to come up with new ideas, so they and their business can back stronger once restrictions are lifted.

Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., issued the following statement regarding the lack of PPP funding.

“Thousands of Oregon small businesses were able to take advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program that the Trump Administration moved with light-speed to put into effect. This was the program that allowed small businesses to get a loan that could turn into a grant at the end of June if they kept their people on the payroll. Unfortunately, that program has now run out of money."

"It didn't have to be this way," Walden added. "More than a week ago, President Trump asked for another $250 billion for this fund, I supported that, and most of us supported that, but Democrats in the United States Senate blocked that request."

"So now the fund has gone dry, as predicted, and now we have small businesses all across America and certainly all across Oregon that can't get the funding they need to get to the other side of this fiscal crisis affecting our economy because of the pandemic," Walden continued. "Congress needs to come together, we need to work this out, and we need to replenish this fund as soon as possible." 

To watch Walden's full statement, click here.

To support local businesses in Bend, visit SOS Bend. You can also find the businesses that are still open on KTVZ's Open4Biz page.

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Rhea Panela

Rhea Panela is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Rhea here.


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