SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, local small businesses have struggled to maintain a steady income. Luckily, multiple programs were developed to help them. One business that is still recovering is Josiah’s Coffeehouse & Café.
The coffeehouse had to close from mid-March to the first week in May due to the coronavirus. Kibbi McCormick is one of the owners for Josiah’s Coffeehouse & Café.
“Things have picked up again, but they’re not where we need them to be yet. There’s still a lot of places downtown that have not brought back the employees yet, so that’s still been a little hard on us. I think with school starting and then we kind of had that best of COVID I think that’s kept people home a little bit more in the last 30 days,” McCormick said.
McCormick is hopeful business will pick back up with catering events and with a school rush. Josiah’s offered curbside to go orders, but business doesn’t compare to last year.
The Small Business Administration offered multiple programs and loans for small business owners. One initiative offered was the Payment Protection Program.
“The payment protection program helped us, you know, get through that and so we were able to keep our employees and that worked out really nice. One of the things we’re hopeful for, now that things are starting to pick up, we lost a lot of wedding rehearsal dinners and graduation parties and those kinds of things, and now that people are starting to come out more and do things more, some of those catering events are starting to get filled in again we’re kind of hoping for a busy Christmas part, holiday party season,” McCormick said.
At the end of September many SBA loans will reach the end of emergency debt relief. Thousands of businesses nationwide may once again struggle.
However, three members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship have proposed to extend the bill that encompasses that loan. Ranking Member Ben Cardin, U.S. Senator Chris Coons and U.S. Representative Anthony Delgado proposed the Small Business Debt Relief Extension Act.
According to a news release, this bill would extend debt relief for small businesses through at least February 2021 for all borrowers and further for those particularly hard-hit by the pandemic.
“Because when you’re not quite at where you need to be, it just helps to have a little extra. And, those loans are pretty low interest and they’re for a pretty long term so they might just be what everybody needs to get through a slower time,” McCormick said.
Even with the additional help through government programs and community initiatives, McCormick said it’s still important to shop local.
“I think the big thing is there still is that need for you to support your local businesses. I know you hear that a lot, but it truly makes a difference for those of us that are local small business owners and have employees that this is there living, you know, this is how they live,” McCormick said.