States try to save small businesses as US aid harassed

Kirk Meurer was on track to have one of his best years at his business installing office furniture in the Cleveland area. But when companies started sending workers home last spring, his business practically dried up overnight.

“Even though we didn’t have to close like the restaurants and bars and the travel industries, it didn’t matter,” he said. “The company was not there.”

After some delays, Meurer secured money through the federal paycheck protection program, which he said would be enough to sustain him until business resumed. But as the pandemic dragged on and offices pushed back their reopening dates to summer, then fall, then next year, it became clear the business would need more help. to survive.

“It’s amazing how quickly you can spend money when you have nothing to come and all the overhead to maintain,” Mr. Meurer said.

In recent weeks, his company, Modular Systems Technicians, received a $ 10,000 grant from a new state fund to help small businesses. He also got money under a program that paid back $ 8 billion from the state’s workers’ compensation fund.

“It helped,” he said. “It’s not enough, but they did what they could.”

The money for the Ohio grant program and some other recent state aid efforts actually came from the federal government. As part of the $ 2.2 trillion CARES bill last spring, Congress created a $ 150 billion fund that states could tap into to fight the virus. They had a lot of latitude to use the money, as long as they did so before the end of the year.

However, as the pandemic has erupted again, it has become clear that the economic crisis will last until next year when federal money will be gone and state budgets will not be able to take it. relay. So states are rushing to use what’s left of the CARES bill money to shore up their economies and create a buffer zone for the winter.

About Jimmie T.

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