Senator, SBA host small business stimulus package webinar

State Sen. Cindy O'Laughlin, R-Shelbina, is joining with the Small Business Administration to host a webinar for small businesses to learn more about the $2.2 trillion stimulus plan that President Donald Trump signed into law last week.
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By Hannibal Courier-Post
Posted: Mar. 31, 2020 9:16 am Updated: Mar. 31, 2020 9:19 am

A state senator is joining with the Small Business Administration to host a webinar to explain opportunities for small firms to participate in the $2.2 trillion stimulus package signed into law over the weekend by President Donald Trump.

Sen. Cindy O'Laughlin, R-Shelbina, who represents much of Northeast Missouri, announced the webinar, which is scheduled for 9 a.m., Thursday.

“I want to make certain that small businesses know how to navigate the bureaucracy. Businesses need assistance now,” said O'Laughlin, who operates Leo O'Laughlin Inc., a ready-mix concrete supplier based in Shelbina. “We operate a small business, so I understand the pressures.”

More than $350 billion has been allocated by Congress to assist small businesses that have been devastated by COVID-19 social distancing that has shuttered doors and kept customers away. Many businesses across Northeast Missouri have been devastated over the last month, as have businesses elsewhere in Missouri and most of the nation.

According to the Missouri Department of Labor, initial unemployment claims soared to 42,207 for the week ending March 21, the most recent week available. That compares to 11,305 for the entire month of February.

“I hope that businesses that have been financially impacted by the virus restrictions take part in the webinar,” O'Laughlin said.

Business owners who want to participate need to send the name of the business, telephone phone number and type of business in an email to cindy.olaughlin@senate.mo.gov by Wednesday afternoon so they can get log-in instructions.

“After the webinar you can then work with an advisor one-on-one to complete your request for assistance,” O'Laughlin wrote in announcing the webinar. “I know there are a lot of you feeling tremendous financial pressure but this could be a game changer for you and help you keep your doors open.”

 

Among provisions in the stimulus package that are designed to assist small businesses:

 

  • A $350 billion forgivable loan program designed to ensure that small businesses do not lay off employees
  • A 50% refundable payroll tax credit on worker wages.
  • A delay in employer-side payroll taxes for Social Security until 2021 and 2022.
  • Sole proprietors and other self-employed workers could be eligible for the expanded unemployment-insurance benefits the bill provides, which includes the larger number of freelancers who perform contract work for larger companies.
  • Businesses can receive loans up to $10 million, based on how much the company paid its employees between Jan. 1 and Feb. 29. The loans will carry an interest rate up to 4%. The bill provides for an expedited origination process.
  • Congress approved a fully refundable tax credit for businesses of all size to help keep workers on the payroll. The credit covers up to 50 percent of payroll on the first $10,000 of compensation, including health benefits, for each employee.

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