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Additional funds are available to Hoosier small businesses due to the federal government recently replenishing $310 billion into the Paycheck Protection Program.

Through the program, roughly 1.6 million loans totaling nearly $350 billion have been approved since April 3. This comes after many employers had to lay off staff because they could not pay employees during Indiana’s temporary stay-at-home order.

PPP funds are an incentive for small-business owners to keep their employees on the payroll. According to the Small Business Administration, loans can be forgiven if all employees are kept on the business’ payroll for eight weeks and the money is used to pay wages, rent, mortgage interest or utilities. Employers would not need to pay back this loan if at least 75% of the money is spent keeping or rehiring workers. Otherwise, it carries a 1% interest rate and must be paid back in two years.

In order to qualify, small businesses must certify in good faith that “current economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the applicant.” Those with fewer than 500 employees are eligible to receive loans up to $10 million.

For more information and to apply for a small business loan, visit SBA.gov/disaster. Hoosiers can also contact 1-800-659-2955 or disastercustomerservice@sba.gov with additional questions.