States Attempt to Rescue Small Companies as U.S. Support Is Snarled

Kirk Meurer was on observe to have one in all his greatest years ever in his enterprise putting in workplace furnishings within the Cleveland space. However when firms started sending their employees dwelling final spring, his enterprise dried up virtually in a single day.

“Though we didn’t must shut down just like the eating places and bars and the journey industries, it didn’t matter,” he stated. “The enterprise wasn’t there.”

After some delays, Mr. Meurer obtained cash by means of the federal Paycheck Safety Program, which he thought could be sufficient to maintain him till enterprise rebounded. However because the pandemic dragged on and workplaces pushed again their reopening dates to the summer time, then to the autumn, then into subsequent yr, it turned clear the corporate would want extra assist to outlive.

“It’s wonderful how briskly you possibly can burn by means of cash once you’ve obtained nothing coming in and all of the overhead to keep up,” Mr. Meurer stated.

In latest weeks, his firm, Modular Techniques Technicians, obtained a $10,000 grant from a brand new state fund to assist small companies. He additionally obtained cash underneath a program that refunded $eight billion from the state employees’ compensation fund.

“It helped,” Mr. Meurer he stated. “It’s not almost sufficient, however they did what they may.”

The cash for the Ohio grant program, and from another latest state help efforts, truly got here from the federal authorities. As a part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act final spring, Congress created a $150 billion fund that states may faucet in responding to the virus. They got vast latitude in utilizing the cash — so long as they did so earlier than the top of the yr.

Because the pandemic has flared anew, nonetheless, it has change into clear that the financial disaster will final effectively into subsequent yr, by which level the federal cash might be gone and state budgets might be unable to choose up the slack. So states are racing to make use of what’s left of the CARES Act cash to shore up their economies and construct a buffer for the winter.

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