Small Business Administration offers loans to help small businesses affected by COVID-19

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Rio Bowls in downtown Fresno is much quieter these days after the statewide shelter in place was issued in California.

Restaurants like Rio Acai Bowls were forced to stop dining in and only do takeout.

"Definitely feeling the economic impact. we've had to cut hours for the employees, most of our employees are college students," said Bobby Gutierrez, Rio Acai Bowls co-owner.

Gutierrez says he used to see more than a hundred people come through a day and now it's just a couple dozen.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has taken steps to help businesses affected by COVID-19 and business shutdowns.

"The Economic Injury Disaster Loan is available for businesses. It can provide up to $2 million with a long-term amortization rate of up to 30 years and a low interest rate in order to make the payments as low as possible," says Dawn Golik, SBA Fresno District Director.

Golik says her team is actively answering questions from concerned business owners on their web site. SBA officials encourage people to go their website to learn more about how to apply for the loan.

"Its a resource for biz that may be struggling with operating capital to pay employees, they need working capital, they have debts they need to pay," Golik says.
Businesses are being connected to other resources to think outside the box to help companies continue to run.

As for Gutierrez, he's taking it one day at a time. "Hopefully this will blow over as fast as it came in and hopefully we can get back to our normal lives," he says.

The SBA says the disaster declaration is until December. There are 4 million small businesses in California.
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