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Paycheck Protection Program helps Macomb businesses amid pandemic

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Some Tri-State businesses are starting to see a sign of relief, amid what they call a health and financial crisis.

For one local business in Macomb, the federal paycheck protection program is helping them get back on their feet.

Relief funds are aiding a local business in Macomb.

Owner of Ace Hardware and West Side Lumber Jack Nixa said his business received a loan through the federal paycheck protection program, which aims to help small businesses keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 crisis.

"Basically, it covers my payroll for those 8 weeks," Nixa said. "I'll be able to re-coop the expense to absorb the loss in sales."

Nixa said although deemed an essential business, they closed up shop and turned to curbside sales near the end of March.

"Sales fell off about 70 percent," Nixa said.

He said he immediately applied for the loan.

"I turned it in the first day you were able to, on a Monday," Nixa said. "On the following Monday, I got the loan approved."

Nixa said the one percent loan can be forgivable if he uses all the funds within an eight week period to cover expenses, such as payroll, utilities, and other businesses related expenses.

Macomb Mayor Mike Inman said when businesses in Macomb receive these types of grants and loans, it's a step in the right direction to helping the local economy, as they depend on so many small businesses.

"It's keeping people employed, the primary purpose for the program, and the opportunity for these to be forgivable is huge," Inman said.

"It's really a game changer."

Nixa said his store went back to normal in-store operations this week and he plans to hire back his entire staff, as he now has the funds to keep paying everyone.

"I think we're over the hump now, business-wise," Nixa said.

"I just hope none of the employees contract the virus, or we could be shut down."

Inman said McDonough District Hospital also received the PPP loan.

He said there are other businesses in Macomb that received the grant, but they are still working to finalize which ones.

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat is a MultiMedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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