JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. — As the deadline to spend money from the CARES Act looms, many small business owners are pushing for an extension.
COVID-19 has brought uncertainty for all Americans, but small businesses have especially been hit by recent surges and restrictions. Matt Murley, owner of Cluckers in Southern Indiana, said a CARES Act extension could provide some much needed relief.
"Hopefully, if they keep closing down there will be a second wave of some sort of assistance for a lot of the local businesses that are struggling," Murley said.
Murley said the game plan was strictly survival when the pandemic first hit, but nine months later, a lot hasn't changed for small businesses in Indiana.
"Unfortunately, as we go into the winter months, they are afraid, many are afraid that their going to be hurting even more because they don't see that relief coming," said Wendy Dant Chesser, CEO of One Southern Indiana.
Cluckers was a recipient of the Paycheck Protection Program, a portion of the CARES Act. The program provided small businesses with funds to pay up to eight weeks of payroll costs, including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent and utilities.
"It really helped us pay staff," Murley said. "It helped us pay our leases, our utilities. We benefited immensely from it."
With Indiana reporting record high COVID-19 cases, new restrictions are probable and the uncertainty of the future is concerning.
"Business are risk aversive by nature, so the worst thing you can do is say that well we don't know what is going to happen, because they don't know how to make any decisions based on uncertainty," Dant Chesser said.
For Murley, it is difficult to think about what happens if no relief comes and restrictions continue.
"Scary to think about, I'm hoping we can survive it," Murley said.
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