SBA leadership reaches out to small business ownersBy Afrique I. Kilimanjaro, Editor / July 17, 2020
The U.S. Small Business Administrator, Jovita Carranza, made a visit to Greensboro last Friday to tour Gateway Research Campus, the joint nanotechnology campus partnership between North Carolina A&T State University and UNC Greensboro located on Gate City Boulevard. Carranza, along with N.C. SBA District Director Thomas Stith, III, toured Core Technology Molding Corp., a local company which manufactures plastic parts for automobiles, video game consoles, appliances and other consumer goods and products. Carranza said she wanted to hear directly from small business owners in order to tailor and fine tune SBA’s programs to the exact needs of small business owners.
“There’s nothing like having boots on the ground and hearing from people. We want to engage with businesspeople on their journey.” said Carranza.
On this trip, Carranza and Stith focused on visiting manufacturing sites like Gateway Research Campus.
“Core Technology and other small businesses are leading the way in North Carolina’s recovery. They exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit for our economy to recover,” said Stith.According to Carranza, the North Carolina SBA office has provided nearly 120,000 small business owners with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans in an effort to aid these businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. PPP is a loan program designed to help small business owners retain employees and keep them on payroll for as long as possible through the pandemic crisis. Carranza added that some of those funds can be allocated for operating costs. Also, more than 50,000 Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) were distributed to North Carolina small business owners. Collectively, both of these programs comprise more than $15 billion in loans distributed during the COVID-19 crisis across the state.
Carranza stated that nationally, more than 4.5 million small businesses applied for a PPP loan, which will support 51 million employees. Approximately 70 percent of PPP loans nationally have gone to employers with less than ten employees. Another 9 million businesses applied for an EIDL loan and some businesses and manufacturing companies applied for both.
Sole proprietors, independent contractors, nonprofits and faith-based organizations are still able to apply for a PPP Loan. The application deadline for the loan has been extended to August 8, 2020.
According to Stith, while the grants portion of the EIDL (EIDL Advance) is closed, the full EIDL is open until December 31, 2020.
“We at SBA are urging local lenders to actively focus in on the underserved market- – forty-five percent of the loans by both volume and total value and in low income counties,” said Carranza
“We want to share and amplify that the PPP is a forgiveness loan. The businesses must have the documentation to share with their lender that they have applied the loan to employment retention, employee payroll as well as operating expenses. Then the loan can be forgiven,” said Carranza.
In North Carolina, SBA has more than 39 dedicated resources for small businesses. There are 15 small business technology and development centers located across the state with one of those being affiliated with North Carolina A&T State University. The N.C. SBA also offers ten SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) chapters. The retired business executives in SCORE mentor and advise small business owners in business ventures, from developing a concept to developing a relationship with a lender. There are also SBA programs available for women and military veterans.
For more information about the programs offered by the SBA’s North Carolina District office, visit the website: https://www.sba.gov/offices/district/nc/charlotte.