CIRCLEVILLE — There is now additional loan funding available for small businesses in Pickaway County through the Paycheck Protection Program.

About $284 billion is approved for this second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans, which is being administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“The historically-successful Paycheck Protection Program served as an economic lifeline to millions of small businesses and their employees when they needed it most,” U.S. Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza said in a statement.

“Today’s guidance builds on the success of the program and adapts to the changing needs of small business owners by providing targeted relief and a simpler forgiveness process to ensure their path to recovery.”

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin touted the program’s success after the first round of loans.

“The Paycheck Protection Program has successfully provided 5.2 million loans worth $525 billion to America’s small businesses, supporting more than 51 million jobs,” he said.

“This updated guidance enhances the PPP’s targeted relief to small businesses most impacted by COVID-19. We are committed to implementing this round of PPP quickly to continue supporting American small businesses and their workers.”

Circleville Mayor Don McIlroy said that following the success of the initial program in Circleville that provided grants to businesses in the downtown area, he wanted business owners in the community to be aware of this program and to apply for it, even if they were denied the first time.

“This is a new opportunity to take a look at this and maybe take advantage of this funding,” McIlroy said. “I encourage businesses to go ahead and apply again, even if you applied and were denied the first time. We have great businesses in our community and it’s our job to assist them and give them as much support as possible. Small business owners are the backbone of our country and they get us moving in the right direction.”

Minority group, veteran and women-owned businesses are being strongly encouraged to apply for the funding, which received criticism based on some of the people that received the funding.

“SBA continues to call upon its lending partners and asks that they redouble their efforts to assist eligible borrowers in underserved and disadvantaged communities, allowing us to further expand economic opportunity,” Carranza said in the updated guidelines.

“In particular, all PPP lenders are strongly encouraged to continue to engage in community outreach and communication through organizations, trade associations and individuals that represent and serve underserved communities and minority, veteran and women-owned businesses.

Marlee Martin, director of the Pickaway County Chamber of Commerce, said she has running information available on the chamber’s website for businesses on this program and others that can help assist businesses during the pandemic.

“A lot of our businesses are women-owned, which is awesome and this could really help them,” she said. “We have a lot of information on our website that has COVID-19 aid relief for state and federal programs.”

The program opened Monday through the SBA. Businesses that have already received a loan are eligible again but will not be made a priority like businesses that did not receive funding the first round. The loans are open to businesses with less than 300 employees who can demonstrate a year-over-year loss of revenue in 2020.

“There are some businesses that weren’t open a year that now have been and they’re eligible,” McIlroy said.

For more information on how to apply, contact Martin at 740-474-4923, or contact the Small Business Administration’s Office in Columbus at 614-427-0407.

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