Which small businesses are eligible for forgivable loans, and how to apply

SPOKANE, Wash. — Another month without customers. That’s the reality for non-essential businesses in Spokane like bars and barbershops, but now there is a shimmer of hope. 

Starting Friday, small business owners can start applying for a forgivable loan from the U.S. government. 

“My heart goes out to the guys that just opened,” said Tim O’Doherty. 

O’Doherty’s Irish Grill is well established in Spokane, but that doesn’t mean times are easy. 

“We laid 20 of them off, we kept management people,” said O’Doherty. 

With at least another month out of business, O’Doherty says he and his wife have considered all options. 

“She’s our HR department, she’s our payroll department. She’s helped our people get through the unemployment,” said O’Doherty. 

The Government’s $2 trillion coronavirus aid package includes $350 billion dollars in forgivable loans for small businesses. 

Starting Friday, small businesses with less than 500 employees can apply, even if they had to lay off workers. Independent contractors, non profits, and tribal businesses are also included. 

Loans amount to two and a half months of a businesses’ average monthly payroll, and the remaining amount is used for things like rent and utilities. 

Money must be spent at the end of eight weeks and if it’s not used for the reasons listed above. Businesses will have to repay over a two-year at a 1% interest rate, beginning in six months. 

Businesses can apply online through June 30th and could get funding the same day. Just don’t delay. The program is on a first come, first serve basis. 

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