His Brooklyn-based pet company Chuck & Buddha’s cares for animals while their owners work or travel. But as his customers suddenly found themselves at home under government orders, business dried up.
Like many other small-business owners who spoke to Reuters, Preis is hoping new government programs might keep him afloat.
Seeking to help millions of business owners who have seen their operations either shut down or dramatically curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic, Congress last week passed a $2 trillion stimulus package that includes $349 billion aimed at small firms through the Payroll Protection Program, Reuters reported.
It covers eight weeks of payroll and some other operating expenses through a forgivable loan of up to $10 million for businesses that have roughly 500 or fewer employees.
According to Reuters, the program is retroactive from Feb. 15 so employers who laid off workers can re-hire them through June 30, according to guidance provided by the Treasury Department on Tuesday. It appears to offer broad coverage, including for self-employed individuals, independent contractors, non-profits, military-veteran organizations and tribal groups.
But for many owners, relief may not come quick enough – their revenues and supplies gutted after many local and state governments ordered business closures in mid-March. Some authorities have also expanded restrictions since then.