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Paycheck Protection Program helping small businesses during pandemic

Posted at 7:27 AM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-18 13:01:41-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — Help could soon be on the way for small business owners with less than 500 people. It will ensure they continue to stay open and employees will continue to get paid.

This new initiative is called “Paycheck Protection Program” and it opens April 3. Independent contractors and people who are self-employed can start applying on April 10.

In total, $349 billion will be available for business owners to keep the lights on and employees paid. This loan could be forgiven depending on how the business uses the money.

The amount is up to two and a half times your average monthly payroll costs, but no more than $10 million.

Tom Sullivan with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says these new loans could keep small businesses afloat.

"On the one hand we've seen communities come together to support small business,” Tom Sullivan said. “On the other hand, we heard horrible stories about businesses who have been in the family for generations having to close."

This program is open until the end of June. However, you should apply as soon as possible to increase your chances of getting funds. Click here for the application form.

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What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.

Prevention

The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.