Many small businesses along the Central Coast are hoping to receive federal relief loans to help them stay afloat during the COVID-19 crisis.
In an effort to help small business owners, President Donald Trump signed Congress' latest coronavirus economic relief package on Friday, adding approximately $321 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPP grants financial assistance to small businesses feeling the strain of the pandemic.
More small business owners on the central coast say they missed out on receiving the first round of loan money from the PPP due to an overwhelming number of applications across the nation.
The Community Bank of Santa Maria is helping local business owners submit loan applications.
According to Janet Silveria, president and CEO of the Community Bank of Santa Maria, the processing of applications is "going slowly," but the money will be available soon after applications are approved.
"Once we get it in there, the approval is instant," said Silveria. "The funding happens within 10 business days."
Federal government officials say the PPP loans do not have to be paid back.
The Department of Labor said Thursday that 4.4 million Americans filed initial unemployment claims in the last week. That brings the total number of initial claims filed in the previous five weeks to 26 million.