WEST JORDAN, Utah — For more than 20 years, Beck Leather & Crafts in West Jordan has been a place to be creative. However, the pandemic has impacted the small business and now they are doing everything they can to stay open.
“We lost over 50 percent of our business and we are just barely hanging on,” said owner David Beck.
It is one of the most fun stores in the valley, Beck said, where people can use their imagination.
“We supply craft supplies for schools, for hospitals, for boy scouts, girl scouts, YMCA groups,” he said.
COVID-19 regulations, restrictions and the shutdown have not only impacted sales, but Beck is high risk, so he’s had to manage the store from home.
“This pandemic has been hard because I haven’t been able to come into my store,” he said.
The store has set up a GoFundMe account to help them through the tough times.
Starting Wednesday, small businesses with fewer than 20 employees can apply for a Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan. People can apply for a second round of money if they already received a loan in the past, David Carlebach with World Trade Center Utah said.
“They provide loans that can and often have already been turned into grants, so it's really been a source of free money for a lot of businesses,” he said.
All small business owners should at least take the time to see if they are eligible for a PPP loan, Carlebach said.
In two weeks, businesses that have more than 20 employees will be able to apply. There are additional requirements for business owners looking for a second PPP loan and there are new regulations in place, Carlebach said, with a focus on inclusivity.
“They are really trying to make sure underrepresented groups, underserved communities — especially small businesses, self-employed business owners, contractors, that they know, that they learn these are available for them also,” he said.
Beck is hoping to receive a second PPP loan. The first loan helped pay his employees, but they need more money and fast, he said.
“It is critical because we just don’t have the funds or the sales to support the staff,” he said.
Small business owners interested in the changes to the Payroll Protection program can CLICK HERE to register for a webinar hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Thursday.