CAPE CORAL, FLA – “Interesting” is probably the nicest way Cole Peacock could describe trying to keep a new business afloat in a year like 2020.
“Starting business with a new concept in a new industry, with Florida being relatively new to the cannabis industry right now,” he said.
You’ve probably seen his shop, the Seed and Been Market in downtown Fort Myers, which sells CBD products and more.
And Peacock says the only way they could keep their doors open was through a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan and creativity.
“As a marketplace, we could really change and be like a grocery store or a bodega in the city center. And the state of Florida gave us permission and de-registered us, “he said.
With the Small Business Administration (SBA) opening a second round of PPP loan applications on Monday, Peacock says his business will seek help again.
“It really got us through the tough times,” he said.
Tom Smythe, professor of finance at Florida Gulf Coast University, says most small businesses in need of help should adopt this approach quickly.
“I don’t think it makes perfect sense to wait just because the legislative process can take a long time,” he said.
Smythe says it’s especially important to keep small businesses alive in an area like southwest Florida, where the economy is driven by tourism.
“The more small businesses shut down, the longer it will take to restore employment,” he said.
And while companies prepare to apply and wait for their response, Peacock has this advice for them:
“One thing I would say to any small business owner and any large business owner is don’t be afraid to turn around and don’t be afraid to try something new,” he said.
FOX 4 has also addressed the. agile Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce for up-to-date information on PPP loan applications and qualifications. Here is the statement they sent us:
The PaydayChampion’ direct lenders online In consultation with the US Treasury Department, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) credit portal will be open on Monday, January 11, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. ET. The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan that is designed to provide small businesses with a direct incentive to keep their employees on the payroll. When the PPP loan portal system opens, it first accepts First drawing PPP Loan applications from participating CFIs, including Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), Certified Development Companies (CDCs), and microcredit intermediaries.
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan that is designed to provide small businesses with a direct incentive to keep their employees on the payroll.
SBA will Granting credit if all retention criteria are met and the funds are used for eligible expenses.
- PPP loans have an interest rate of 1%.
- Loans issued prior to June 5th have a term of 2 years. Loans issued after June 5 have a term of 5 years.
- Loan payments are deferred for borrowers applying for loan waiver until SBA remits the borrower’s loan waiver amount to the lender. If a borrower does not apply for loan waiver, payments will be deferred for 10 months after the borrower’s loan waiver covered period (either 8 weeks or 24 weeks).
- No collateral or personal guarantees are required.
- Neither the government nor the lenders charge small business fees.
How to apply
You can apply through any existing SBA 7 (a) lender or federal custodian, federal credit union, and agricultural credit system institution that participates. Other regulated lenders will be available for these loans once they have been approved and accepted into the program. You should check with your local lender to see if they participate in the program.
If you are ready to begin preparing your application, you can download the following PPP Borrower Application Forms to view the information that will be requested from you when you apply to a lender:
Paycheck Protection Program Application Form for Borrower’s First Draw (revised 01-08-21)
Second Drawing Paycheck Protection Program Borrower Application Form (01-08-21)