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Omaha small businesses battle waiting game for CARES Act funding

Published: Dec. 7, 2020 at 6:11 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The CARES Act promised help for small business owners affected by the pandemic but not all small businesses have seen financial relief.

Dick Brown is the owner and sole employee at Dick’s Place, a salon in the Florence area. 2020 has been a tough year for Brown.

“The first two months I was closed down and then getting back was slow...I’m operating about 2/3 the business,” said Brown.

A friend told Brown about the second round of the CARES Act small business grant program. That’s where the state would provide grants of up to $12,000 to small businesses.

So Brown applied and received confirmation that he was approved for assistance.

“I did receive notification later last month that on December 4 a decision would be made, and I have yet to hear anything from them,” said Brown.

Jeff Jorgensen is part owner of three shops in The Old Market. He applied for and received funds in the first round last summer.

One of his shops was eligible this time as well.

“We applied within the first day or two,” said Jorgensen.

Jorgensen says he got a confirmation email, but it didn’t directly say he would receive CARES Act money.

“For one reason or another and it didn’t really explain why they weren’t ready to finally notify businesses. It said they hoped during the earliest part of this week that they would be able to let people know,” said Jorgensen.

A spokeswoman for The Department of Economic Development, the entity responsible for doling out the money, says that applicants should have already received notice that their claim was approved, denied, or pending.

Both Jorgensen and Brown applied well before the November 13th application deadline. But they don’t know if and when funds would be sent out.

So, for now, both are stuck playing a financial waiting game.

The Economic Development Director in Scribner emailed 6 news saying small businesses there have been denied assistance because of the state’s computer system. He says it denied businesses for small punctuation or grammatical errors.

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