Senator Romney Hosts Video Conference With Eastern Utah Chambers

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Senator Mitt Romney. ETV News stock photo.

Senator Mitt Romney. ETV News stock photo.

On Monday afternoon, Senator Mitt Romney hosted a video conference with Eastern Utah Chambers in order to ease the minds of business owners in terms of how expenses are being handled during the closures and quarantines resulting from the spread of COVID-19 in the United States.

He began by explaining an ongoing program that is entitled the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) that was originally put in place for areas that are frequently affected by hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural disasters. However, Utah has been approved to qualify for this loan because it was granted a disaster declaration. The maximum of the loan is approximately two million dollars. Businesses that can prove substantial harm due to COVID-19 can qualify. This is a loan that has to be re-paid; however, there is a grant emergency EIDL that does not have to be re-paid that is around $10,000.

There is another program, the Personal Paycheck Program (PPP) that is also available for businesses with under 500 employees. This program takes payroll averages from the year before, multiplies by 2.5 and that is the loan amount available. If it is used to pay certain qualified expenses, the loan will be forgiven. It can be utilized for payroll, unemployment and retirement benefits, rent, interest on mortgages and utilities. Business owners will need to maintain full time equivalents and employees for the loan to be forgiven.

To apply for the EIDL loan, visit the SBA website. The PPP is applied for by visiting a local bank, particularly if it is an SBA member bank. The senator encouraged all to move as quickly as they possibly can to secure these funds while they are available.

“Time is of the essence,” Senator Romney stressed.

Other topics that Senator Romney spoke on were the substantial increase in unemployment insurance, the fact that business owners may want to consider furloughing, organizing your team so that different people have specific responsibilities to take on all major challenges and more. He emphasized that when the pandemic ends, many businesses may find that their customers want things different than they did in the past and business owners need to think of how their business will change.

One question that the senator finds himself frequently asked is whether a business should close its operations or not. Senator Romney encouraged businesses stay open at this time if at all possible.

“Err on the side of trying to keep things operating at a safe distance,” Romney stated.

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