Help on the way for small businesses in Georgia impacted by coronavirus

Help on the way for small businesses in Georgia impacted by coronavirus

ATLANTA — Small businesses of all kinds are getting hit hard by the coronavirus crisis.

Today, the Georgia secretary of state delayed registration and registration fees for Georgia corporations.

Channel 2′s Justin Gray was in northeast Atlanta, where business owners are looking for more help.

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Gray talked to Sec. Brad Raffensperger over Facetime. Raffensperger, a small business owner himself, said he’s looking for ways to ease the burden on those businesses during the crisis.

“I understand their concerns because I share them also,” Raffensperger said.

He’s directing the 40 different licensing boards that report to the secretary of state to find ways to streamline requirements or red tape during the emergency.

“We want to offer them that flexibility,” Raffensperger said.

Business is down 60% at the Kirkwood Bark and Lounge, because if people aren't traveling, they are not boarding dogs.

Owner Joan Schwartz said business is down 95% at her Smyrna location.

"I get emotional talking about it, because this is my life," Schwartz said. "What do you do?"

Georgia small businesses are eligible for emergency disaster loans since Gov. Brian Kemp has declared a state of emergency. But for business owners like Schwartz, a loan is likely not the answer.

“One week, everything is OK, and the next week it’s a disaster,” Schwartz said. “It’s devastating to everything you work for.”

Congress is still debating the details of its relief bill, but we expected $350 billion for small businesses.

It will likely be loans that can be used to keep paying employees and it looks like it would include provisions to forgive those loans if the business keeps employees on the job.