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Richard and Marilyn Trevino, owners of Trevino's Gymnastics School, are thankful for federal aid. Read their story in the sidebar that accompanies this article.

​Contact: Debra Dennis
ddennis@dccccd.edu; 214-536-7468

For immediate release — April 23, 2020

(DALLAS) — Barber chairs are empty. Restaurant owners are packing up. And florists are hanging up signs announcing that they have closed due to COVID-19.

Small businesses, devastated by the pandemic, are also laying off workers as their companies face evictions.

These “mom and pop shops” — the backbone of our local workforce — are treading water, said Mark Langford, executive director of the Dallas Metropolitan Small Business Development Center (SBDC), a field center of the North Texas SBDC, housed at the Bill J. Priest Institute.

“Pretty much every call we get is about COVID. These small business owners are at a critical junction,” said Langford, whose organization assists small businesses with funding received from the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) as well as the Dallas County Community College District and the state of Texas. “They need money. Small businesses have seen their revenue slashed. Some have no revenue, and they’re looking to pay their rent as well as their employees.”

The SBA traditionally helps businesses with a variety of services including marketing, payroll and access to capital, among other services, Langford said. Right now, most small businesses are seeking advice about the government-approved Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) — forgivable loans (under certain criteria) that help small businesses keep their employees on the payroll and prevent mass firings. 

After unexpectedly running out of funding last week, a new package awaiting Congressional approval includes $310 billion for the PPP, with $250 billion refilling the program and $60 billion set aside specifically for smaller institutions like credit unions and community banks, which often help small businesses.

“During the last six weeks, we have seen 1,156 clients, compared to 766 clients during the same time period last year,” Langford said.

Before the funds initially ran out, SBA administrator Jovita Carranza said that small businesses, along with faith-based organizations, are eligible to participate in the PPP and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. 

“Following the passage of the emergency economic relief assistance, the administration and Congress acted to ensure that small businesses and nonprofits alike have access to critical funds to keep their workers paid and employed,” said Carranza.

PPP is administered through banks, and some resisted business dealings with companies that had no existing accounts with them.

“Additional guidance has been provided, and additional lenders, such as PayPal, have entered the program,” Langford said. “The program is well intended and very much needed. It has good bones, and the banks are trying to do something that is unprecedented.”

Services at the SBDC are confidential and free of charge. Assistance is available by email, telephone or video conference. Some virtual classroom-based training is also available.

Learn more about the North Texas SBDC network.

Additional COVID-19 small business resources:

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Read a sidebar article: Get To Know Two of the Small Businesses That Received Crucial Loan Guidance From DCCCD