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Valley businesses look to loans to stay afloat

0330 downtown palm springs

With many small businesses hurting financially right now as their customers stay at home, some are looking to state and federal programs to help.

Even in the daylight, downtown Palm Springs is a ghost town these days – empty streets and shuttered stores.

Businesses like On the Mark are left wondering how they will survive. Employees there have shifted their inventory from just gourmet meats and cheeses to include more basic grocery store staples like eggs and milk in an effort to meet their customers needs.

"We're trying to do our best to stay in business along with other small businesses," said John "Bubba" Espejo, general manager of On the Mark.

Espejo said they've had to let go of half their staff for now. But fortunately, the customers continue coming in.

"Business has thankfully stayed steady," Espejo said. "It's not the same revenue we'd normally do this time of year."

His shop is looking down a few different avenues for help.

"Some of those small business loans," he said. "I know the government is also doing some kind of grants, so there's different things we're looking at doing, just like everyone else is."

In an online town hall Monday, Palm Springs Mayor Geoff Kors walked businesses through the available loans from the state and federal government.

"There's so much in the new multi-trillion dollar bill that will help small business," Kors said. "Including those who are continuing to do payroll or pay rent or utilities, up to 8 weeks where the loan wont have to be paid back for a certain percentage."

Kors said the biggest issue is the lack of business, and the stay at home orders.

"Most of them are being required to be shut down," he said. "They can't operaten they have no money coming in yet they still have some expenses."

Businesses are grateful for the help that's becoming available.

"There are a lot of small businesses and they're all struggling right now," Espejo said. "They all had to let off their employees and it's just financially hard for everyone, so to be able to find that kind of support through these times is huge."

The city is also looking at ramping up marketing campaigns for when people can once again travel, hoping to create another busy season for Palm Springs businesses.

In this week's city council meeting, Palm Springs is expected to vote on some longer term solutions.

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Coronavirus / News / Top Stories

Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.


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