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Small businesses may want to act soon on PPP loans

Exclusive window set to close on March 10th

CLEVELAND — Lisa McGuthry of Our Favorite Things Boutique and Event Center in Cleveland did not waste any time in applying for a loan through the federal paycheck protection program when they first came out.

“This money is essential for any small business,” she said. “Small business owners are the heartbeat of the community.”

Amy Bradford of Amy’s Shoes and Apparel in Woodmere applied too.

“I think that as a small business owner who is a very small business, it’s just nice to know they’re trying,” Bradford said.

But not everyone was so lucky, as many small businesses were simply crowded out by bigger companies who had more connections and resources.

“A lot of these mom and pop businesses got muscled out of the way by bigger companies who jumped in front of the line,” President Joe Biden said.

It is why he recently brought back the PPP program, adding changes that can help small and minority-owned business.

RELATED: President Biden announces plan for small businesses amid pandemic

From now through March 10th only those with fewer than twenty employees can apply. Owners with student loan defaults and non-fraud related criminal records are eligible.

“I’m thankful that this time they paid more attention to us,” said Althea Young, owner of No Basis Co. in Great Northern Mall, who applied for a second time and remains cautiously optimistic.

“I have seen more traffic in the mall this past week, so I’m happy about that,” she said.

It is the same with Daniel Ungar of Mar-Lou shoes in Lyndhurst, who calls it a "game-changer."

“We are a small family business who is definitely being benefitted by this. We could be up a you know what without our paddle if it weren’t for the government intervention and help,” said Ungar.

Across the country more than 400,000 small businesses have closed since the pandemic.

The government has set aside roughly $50 billion to help others and keep that number from growing.

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