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Loan extension offers hope to local businesses

While some say interest rates are high, they also say it shouldn’t keep business owners from applying

Business owners still trying to stay afloat could have a glimmer of hope.
Business owners still trying to stay afloat could have a glimmer of hope.

BLACKSBURG, Va. – With some business owners still trying to stay afloat, an extension to apply for U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans could be a glimmer of hope.

After closing for about two months, an SBA loan helped pull Lia’s Hair Styling out of the hole for three months.

“I wish more people would have gotten the loan, because I think it was really beneficial,” said Luanda Parrish, the manager. “And I wish that some of the businesses that are now closed were still open.”

The owner said in the 20 years of keeping their doors open, last year was one of the hardest.

So far, SBA has approved $197 billion in low-interest loans for a variety of businesses and non-profits due to the pandemic.

But these loans will have an interest rate of 3.75%. SBA calls it affordable, but Parrish said that may be a bit too high.

“I don’t know how I will feel about it. If it were me I don’t know if I would take it,” Parrish said. “But if you are desperate enough and you want to keep your business afloat and you have the means and other ways to balance that interest I think you should go for it.”

But Karmen George, the owner of Halwa Bakery and Café, said when you feel your business is in hot water, you will do whatever you can.

“It’s your baby, it’s your business,” George said. “You build it from scratch and you build the name and then the corona makes you shut the doors. It’s really bad.”

George’s business sprouted three months ago during the pandemic and said the loan saved her business.

She said the interest rate should not keep people from applying.

“I would think the government helped me to keep my door open for my customers,” George said.

But depending on how much funds are available, not every owner may be approved for the loan.

That’s why George returned more than $21,000 after requesting $51,000 in June with the hope to help others.

About the Author:

Alexus joined 10 News in October 2020.