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Small businesses making tough decisions as grant money runs out

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Despite grants and help from the state, local, and federal level, local business owners in downtown Quincy say they continue to struggle due to the pandemic.

They said low foot traffic is making it hard to keep the doors open.

At Grown-N-Gathered at 6th and Maine Street, the owner said they are encouraging people to shop locally.

Owner Michele Wynn said they've had a big decline in people walking through the doors since the pandemic began and it’s hurting their business.

Wynn said more people are staying home and are not spending locally due to the virus.

She said all the state and federal grant money she received has run out and she's now in a tough spot and taking it one day at a time.

“One great purchase may make a small business day," Wynn said. "At 9 a.m. you may say that today is a good day. By 5 p.m., if you don’t have good sales, you have to think about what you have to do next and really those decisions are hour by hour for the small businesses. To look ahead, you throw those out at this time."

She hopes the incentives that The District laid out last month will encourage everyone to shop local.

Up the street on 5th and Maine, Second String Music has seen foot traffic increase since the state reopened, but owner Rodney Hart said he still had to rely on grants and other funding for help. Hart says consistency is really the key.

“What I’ve noticed is that we have really big days, and then some quiet days, Hart said. "So it’s really a roller coaster a bit more than it used to and before we shut down in March, we were booming and doing well. We were nervous about that but overall it’s been okay.”

Hart said The District has done a good job notifying businesses of the financial assistance available to help them by.

He believes more stores are providing sales and incentives to try and get people downtown.

Now here's more information on the second round of PPP grants from the Heals Act in Washington.

The proposed legislation provides small businesses $25 billion for those with no more than 10 employees.

Loans are forgivable if borrowers spend at least 60% of it on payroll costs.

Borrowers would have until December 31 to apply if its approved.

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Don Dwyer

Don Dwyer is a Morning Anchor/Reporter at WGEM.

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