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PARK FOREST – State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is encouraging small businesses to apply for COVID-19 relief funds through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.

“This program is a great opportunity for businesses to gain some financial certainty while they try to weather this pandemic,” Joyce said. “I strongly encourage small businesses to contact their banks before the Aug. 8 deadline to see if they are eligible to benefit.”

The application period has been extended to allow more businesses to apply for a portion of $10 million in relief funding. Loans will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis and may be used to keep employees on the payroll and pay overhead expenses.

More than 27,000 Illinois businesses have already taken advantage of the loans – saving an estimated 1.36 million jobs – according to the Small Business Administration.

PPP loans have an interest rate of 1% and can be fully forgiven if they are used for eligible costs, including payroll, rent, utilities or interest on mortgages. To find participating lenders, business owners and managers can visit the Small Business Administration’s website here.

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