paycheck 070620ELGIN – Since small businesses have taken some of the heaviest financial losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) is encouraging small business owners to take advantage of the federal Paycheck Protection Program.

“The Paycheck Protection was established by Congress in order to help small businesses out in situations exactly like this one,” Castro said. “If you’re a struggling business owner, it’s important to realize that there is help available to get you through this crisis, and you should make use of it.”

Paycheck Protection Program loans were established by the Department of Treasury as a way to help businesses that are having difficulty paying their employees. The loans have a 1%interest rate, and can be forgiven in full if used entirely for the purpose of covering payroll costs, rent, utilities or mortgage interest.

“PPP loans have two important purposes: to ensure that small businesses can keep their doors open in times of hardship, and to prevent employees of those businesses from losing their jobs,” Castro said.

A PPP loan can be up to $10 million per businesses and are awarded on a first come, first served basis. Applications are due by Aug. 8 and can be filled out here.