MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Small businesses throughout South Florida are being tossed a lifeline by the US government and commercial banks with Paycheck Protection Program loans.

The coronavirus shut down many small businesses and restaurants have been surviving on take-out and deliveries.

The nationwide lock up has put small business owners in serious straits, but the government has passed the Payroll Protection Act, making loans available for those businesses that really need it.

South Florida corporate counseling attorney Ben Wolkov says, “You have 30 million small businesses in the United States. So far only 200,000 have applied. The money is going to go quickly.”

Part of the Coronavirus Relief Act can help small businesses, but, preparing for a loan can be daunting.

“The businesses that are resource-challenged, they are wondering what they can do right now to not only put the paperwork together that is necessary but to process this application and finding institutions willing to process them,” Wolkov says.

The loans are being processed by banks and that could be a major hurdle.

CBS4’s Hank Tester asks Wolkov, “They might tell you you are not a customer. Have you run across that?”

“Not to mention that, but there is an issue of will they process my application and are they ready to process my application.”

If banks give you a hard time, Walkov suggests online resources such as Kabbage, an online broker who can line you up with a lender.”

“You got to do due diligence, not like your retail bank where you have a contact and a relationship. This stuff is out in cyberspace.”

Here are two sites which could help small business owners:

An additional non-bank source of information, if your business has been adversely impacted by the coronavirus could be the Florida SBDC website.

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