Watsonville, CA, June 16, 2020 — Recent changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) have made it more useful than ever, according to the non-profit El Pajaro Community Development Corporation, which is encouraging Latino businesses to apply for funds before the end of the month.
Small businesses, the self-employed, independent contractors, and sole proprietors are all eligible for forgivable loans through this Small Business Association (SBA) program. The deadline to apply is June 30, 2020, and El Pajaro CDC can help Latino businesses navigate the application system.
“Congress created the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to provide a lifeline for small businesses during this public health and economic crisis in order to keep their workers on the payroll. Small businesses, the self-employed, independent contractors, and sole proprietors are all eligible for forgivable federal loans. I encourage small business owners on the Central Coast to take advantage of this program and apply for PPP before the June 30 deadline,” said Congressman Panetta.
If any local Latino business owner needs assistance, or a list of lenders, there are resources available to help them apply, including local Small Business Development Centers and El Pajaro CDC.
“We wanted to make sure that people don’t miss this opportunity of getting these PPP funds,” said El Pajaro CDC Executive Director Carmen Herrera Mansir. “People who have not applied may not have enough information or may believe that this program is not for them. After all the updates to the PPP, there is a lot more flexibility. For example, we have been doing a lot of successful applications for home childcare providers and other self-employed individuals.”
The Paycheck Protection Program, which resumed April 27, 2020, is an SBA loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
For questions about the PPP or the PPP application process, please call El Pajaro Community Development Corporation at (831) 722-1224 or by email at [email protected]
About Pajaro CDC
In 1979, El Pájaro CDC was formed following widespread community support of under-represented Latino and Spanish-speaking business owners in Watsonville. For 40 years El Pajaro has helped budding entrepreneurs throughout the Central Coast by offering technical, legal, financial and managerial assistance.
“If you give someone an opportunity it can change lives, and lead to generations of success,” said Carmen Hererra-Mansir, executive director of El Pajaro CDC. “To see a journey from farmworker to entrepreneur — many started that way when they came to us — is so rewarding.”
El Pájaro CDC offers a wide range of assistance, including low-cost and often free bilingual business education and training workshops to low-income entrepreneurs. Workshops cover business plan preparation, marketing and sales, customer service, bookkeeping, computer basics, business management, and financial literacy.
In 1997, El Pajaro Plaza Vigil a retail business incubator at 23 Beach St. in downtown Watsonville was created to assist low- to moderate-income, Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs with starting and operating a successful business.
Plaza Vigil houses dozens of businesses, with another 44 food purveyors using the separate Commercial Kitchen Incubator Program, a fully equipped, shared-use facility at 412 Riverside Drive.
Following a charter expansion in 2007, El Pájaro CDC serves Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito counties. Bilingual and bicultural services businesses development services and trainings are available to anyone with plans to open or expand a small business in the region. elpajarocdc.org.
Marci Bracco Cain
Salinas, CA 93901