The COVID-19 pandemic has hit small businesses hard. More than 50 businesses in Halifax County have received help during this difficult time, through the Paycheck Protection Program (P3).
A total of 56 businesses in Halifax County have received PPP loans, which are issued by lenders and guaranteed by the US Small Business Administration. Twenty-four companies received loans of more than $ 150,000, and one South Boston company – the RO Harrell, Inc. trucking company – received a loan of more than $ 1 million.
Five companies received loans between $ 350,000 and $ 1 million, and the rest received loans between $ 150,000 and $ 350,000. A range of local businesses, including construction companies and medical practices, have received loans.
In addition to the Halifax County businesses that received P3s loans of $ 150,000 or more, 32 other businesses received loans of less than $ 150,000, for a total amount of $ 7,779,015.24.
President Donald Trump signed a law to extend the program deadline until August 8, so businesses still have the option to apply for the loans. The Halifax County Industrial Development Authority is available to help local businesses apply for the loans.
“We try to act as a liaison for all the different programs that are out there for business and facilitate them along the way,” said Brian Brown, executive director of IDA. “This program (PPP) has been very important for our companies. This is a key plan that has been put in place to help businesses cope with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. “
PPP loans are designed to help businesses cover eight weeks of salary expenses, including employee benefits, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury (https://home.treasury.gov.) The loans can also be used to pay off employees. interest on mortgages, rent and charges. Companies can borrow up to 250% of their average payroll. The US Small Business Administration will cancel loans if all employee retention criteria are met.
In addition to PPP loans, a number of other resources are available to businesses in Halifax County facing financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. Brown said he has met weekly with the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance and the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce since the start of the pandemic to discuss the impacts on local businesses.
Businesses can access the resources by visiting the Alliance web page: www.svra.org and clicking on “COVID-19 economic resources”. He added that local businesses also have the opportunity to register for an upcoming Alliance-hosted webinar on Governor Ralph Northam’s “Safer at Home” guidelines. The webinar is scheduled for July 28 at 10 a.m.
The IDA executive director said that while the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for businesses and industries in Halifax County, the county has not been affected by the pandemic as some others communities have been affected.
“We’ve been fortunate to have great employers to support a lot of what’s happened with the economy,” Brown said. He told the IDA board in a meeting Friday morning that Halifax County’s unemployment rate for May was 8.6%, lower than the unemployment rate of 9.4% across the board. state for that month.
Even as the county and the nation as a whole begin to rebound from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the number of unemployed declining each month, another economic shutdown like the one that occurred in March is not out. about. of possibility as the pandemic continues. Brown said IDA is ready to help the business community if another shutdown occurs. Businesses seeking assistance in applying for PPP loans or other resources can contact IDA at 434-572-1734.