EL PASO, Texas -- Small businesses are feeling the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, but there is help available for business owners.
In El Paso, there are more than 14,000 small businesses, which is any business that employs fewer than 500 people.
Some may have noticed some local businesses on Mesa Street have already put up signs notifying customers that they are temporarily closed until further notice.
The Small Business Administration is encouraging small businesses that are facing closure to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
It offers up to $2 million per business, with an interest rate of 3.75% and long-term repayments of up to 30 years.
Dante Acosta, director of the El Paso district of the Small Business Administration, said it was imperative for any small business owner to apply for the loan sooner rather than later.
"If you are small business here in town and if you see a small drop in people coming in the door, get the process started now if you think you may need the loan," Acosta said.
He added, "This will be very difficult to the small business community. Especially to those that require or who have those that have people who have come in to order food or do shopping."
April Benson, owner of the Tea Spot in west El Paso, hasn't had to close her business yet - but is uncertain about what the future holds.
"There are a lot of unknowns right now," Benson said. "As far as the stimulus package right now, I couldn't even imagine how much I need because there are so many small businesses in America that we are all going to have to share it. Will it be enough? I really don't think so."
Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.