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Federal program offers loans to small businesses to keep workers on the payroll during COVID-19 fight

These forgivable loans carry a .5% interest rate. Here's how and when you can apply.
Money, wallet, image from MGN Online – 2-7-2019

Update: As of Thursday, April 16, the program has reached its spending limit.  More information here.

Original Story:

A federal program is paying out $349 billion to small businesses who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.  The Paycheck Protection Program aims to provide funds so businesses can continue to pay their workers during this time.

It's part of the federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act which was signed by President Donald Trump on Friday, March 27.  It's a $2.2 trillion bill that is being allocated to help individuals and businesses across the country.

Starting Friday, April 3, businesses that employ fewer than 500  workers can apply for a loan up to $10 million.  These loans are forgivable .5% interest loans.

On April 10 independent contractors and people who are self-employed can apply.

Click here to see who's eligible.

The application can be found online, here.  Applicants are encouraged to apply through a lender, credit union, or any federally-insured depository institution, according to the U.S. Department of Treasury.