COVID-19’s impact on small businesses

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Salons, barbershops, spas and tattoo parlors have closed their doors in Ohio, and no one knows when they will reopen. 

In a new order Wednesday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine shut down those businesses in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus adding them to the list of bars, restaurants, gyms and movie theaters already shut down.   

“The immediate impact is going to be extremely deep,” said Joel Guth, a financial expert with Gryphon Financial Partners in Columbus.  

With thousands of businesses closed, owners and employees are left in limbo. 

“I think we are going to see a lot of people lose their jobs, or have dramatic impacts on their income,” Guth added.  

But business owners do have options, which includes applying for help. 

“You really have to examine all the stimulus programs the government is coming out with, and all of the loan options they have with the SBA,” Guth said. 

DeWine has asked the U.S. Small Business Administration to allow businesses and non-profits in Ohio to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. According to a recent SBA press release, the interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for nonprofits is 2.75 percent. 

In the meantime, there are things business owners can do on their own to free up cash. 

“I would not hesitate to re-negotiate with vendors so you can get your best terms. Maybe you can get better prices, or delay payments?” Guth added.   

While the future for the local and national economy may look dark and uncertain, it has weathered storms before. 

“We have all lived through the disaster of 9/11 and the financial crisis,” Guth said adding that Columbus’ economy was booming before and can do so again. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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