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The Small Business Administration will provide loans to small businesses in Arizona at the request of Governor Doug Ducey.

The Federal Government is working on an economic recovery package which could include checks to citizens sheltering in place. 

No one could have ever imagined the whole country taking a forced vacation all at once - at the request of the government.

Now we’ve got to figure out to pay for it all.

As a result of the spread of the COVID-19, governments have requested citizens avoid crowds of 10 and above. All non-essential services have been requested to shut down.

Now, it might not seem dentists should shut down, but local dental office owner Carole Dryer shut down her dental practice in Tonto Basin after the Centers for Disease Control and the American Dental Association sent out an advisory.

“It is better to be safe than sorry,” said Dryer, “We have a responsibly to our patients. This is something we don’t know or know how dangerous it is.”

Around the world, businesses owners have faced the same decision, with big potential impacts on employees.

State and federal legislators are scrambling to prevent businesses from crashing, with long-term impacts on the economy.

Some models predict a 20% unemployment rate without help for businesses and workers.

The Labor Department reports unemployment claims this week jumped by 70,000 to 281,000 – a bigger jump than any week during the 2008 financial crisis and recession.

In other words, Rim Country workers and businesses are not alone. Around the country, people are doing staycations while sheltering at home as medical facilities struggle to keep up with the first flow of COVID-19 patients.

The U.S. has not had a spike in unemployment like this since the Great Depression.

President Donald Trump and Congress have burned the midnight oil to discuss a few different types of relief such as:

Providing direct payments to households

Offering loans for businesses and corporations.

Making it easier to restructure debt.

Delaying income tax payments plus interest payments and penalties for 90-days. 

The price tag on the Trump Administration’s proposed package could reach $1 trillion.

In preparation, the Federal Reserve is offering emergency loans to financial institutions.

At the state level, Governor Doug Ducey’s emergency declaration will provide up to $2 million in loans for a qualifying small business through the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Businesses suffering substantial economic injury because of COVID-19 can apply for this loan through the Small Business Administration’s website by going to SBA.gov/disaster.

“The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of COVID-19’s impact,” said a press release from the governor’s office.

The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere.

For non-profits, the interest rate is 2.75%.

The loans have terms as long as 30 years to keep payments affordable. Terms are determined on a case by case basis.

Dryer just hopes everyone takes the vacation to slow the spread so the medical system can keep up with demand.

She will still be open to handle emergencies.

“You can treat a tooth infection with antibiotics,” she said, “There are a lot of things you can do that do not expose you.”

Contact the reporter at mnelson@payson.com

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