ASHLAND, Ore-- Today is the first day small businesses can apply for loans because of the coronavirus pandemic. They are emergency loans from the Payment Protection Program.
Today NewsWatch 12 spent the day digging into how local businesses are being impacted by the coronavirus. "It's been kind of heart breaking to just have to close up shop." said Elise Peters. She is the owner of Heart and Hands Boutique and Bridal in Ashland. "It's really going to be a learning curve, not just for me as a brand new business owner, but for our whole town to see what it feels like." said Laurel Mckee. She is the owner of Web-Sters in Ashland. It's a knitting shop.
The sign on the door of a small business may say closed, but some are still open online. "With the front of our store closed we are really focusing on the crafting elements of our business." said McKee. She says it's been a challenge having a business during the pandemic. "Did have to lay off some staff, but we have a few people still here. There is a lot of demand for our product right now. Knitting and crocheting can help alleviate stress and help relax people."
Peters has shifted the focus of her brand to something timely. "Keeping busy as a business we’ve been making these fabulous face masks." said Peters. This May will be her 29th year in Ashland.
Both of the owners are considering a small business loan. "Oh definitely, absolutely. I have already applied." said Peters. "Just trying to weigh out all of the options. Do my best to keep the business afloat until we can get back to work as usually." said Mckee.
The question on everyone's mind is how long will this last? "Hard to really imagine what an exit strategy for this is. Like one day is this town just going to open up again? That doesn’t seem realistic." said Mckee