Federal loan program extended to help South Dakota small business survive

Local News

Ametrea Christion, worked at Sanford Health for 20 years before she decided to open her own small business. About a month after opening Wildflower Academy, the pandemic hit and Ametrea thought her dream was over. Then she discovered help was available to keep her 18 workers employed, through a federal grant and a loan.

“It’s meant the world,” said Christion.

Like many small businesses owners Ametrea took advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program. The grant money allowed her to keep going for awhile, but as the pandemic dragged on, it wasn’t enough. So she applied for a federal loan called the Economic Injury Disaster Loan or EIDL for short.

“It’s allowed me to keep my doors open, being a daycare that is there for essential workers, and to help kids that have disabilities, keeping our doors open was absolutely important to us,” said Christion.

Jaime Wood with the Small Business Administration says the EIDL loan’s interest rate is only 3.75 percent.

“It’s a 30-year term and there’s no prepayment penalty at all so when you get your loan and you get it in place and you have it there in case you need it, if you don’t need it you can pay it back at any time in the 30 years and there’s no prepayment penalty. So it’s a really nice tool in the tool kit for small businesses,” said Wood.

Ametrea says knowing these types of programs are out there gives her hope for her future as a small business owner. In fact, she was even able to hire another employee.

“It’s been really important for me as a business owner and a daycare provider to be able to remain open and know that my government was there to provide funding to keep our doors open and keep these families employed,” said Ametrea.

The application deadline was today, but the government just extended the filing period until December 31st of 2021. The EIDL loans are available through the Small Business Administration.

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