Small businesses struggle amid coronavirus outbreak - FOX34 Lubbock

Small businesses struggle amid coronavirus outbreak

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

The drop in consumer demand has small businesses in Lubbock struggling to pay the bills.

"We have seen the slowdown," Dylan Moore, the sales director of Pecan Ridge, said. "We're a gift store, so obviously, we're the very first thing that people cross off their lists."

The economic slowdown due to COVID-19 has forced the shop to lay off employees, he said.

"Eighty percent of small businesses rely on that weekly cash flow. They are five days away from going bankrupt. We're in that same situation. Cash flow is everything to us, so when people stop coming in the door, we definitely feel that," Moore said.

Now, Moore said the focus is more on the Lubbock community, encouraging everyone to support local businesses with the hashtag #KeepLocalAlive.

Tuesday, Governor Greg Abbott requested an emergency designation from the U.S. Small Business Administration for the state of Texas. That would allow access to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. If granted, the SBA will provide long-term, low-interest loans to qualifying businesses.

"Those loans are for businesses that show that they have been affected by this coronavirus pandemic, and its more so like a gap loan," Calvin Davis, district director of the West Texas District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration, said. "It helps them cover for expenses, account payables, to help them get through this process."

The disaster loans offer up to $2 million in assistance, and long-term repayments of up to 30 years, which can be vital support to struggling businesses.

"Small business is the economic engine and heartbeat of our economic system in the United States and Texas and West Texas. So without small businesses, our economy goes down," Davis said.

One way the public can help struggling businesses during this time is gift cards, Moore said.

"If y'all aren't going out, if y'all could just buy gift cards from restaurants from your favorite stores, they provide cash flow, which is the life blood of every businesses," Moore said.

Lubbock Congressman Jodey Arrington said the federal government is also providing economic support through bi-partisan legislation.

"There are also opportunities to provide them support through tax credits," Rep. Arrington said, "so that they in turn can meet payroll, pay those workers who are having to go home."

Small businesses owners who believe they may be eligible for the EIDL can visit You can find instructions on how to apply for these loans. You can also call the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955.

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