Kirk Meurer was on observe to have certainly one of his greatest years ever in his enterprise putting in workplace furnishings within the Cleveland space. However when firms started sending their employees house final spring, his enterprise dried up virtually in a single day.
“Although we didn’t must shut down just like the eating places and bars and the journey industries, it didn’t matter,” he stated. “The enterprise wasn’t there.”
After some delays, Mr. Meurer obtained cash by way of the federal Paycheck Safety Program, which he thought could be sufficient to maintain him till enterprise rebounded. However because the pandemic dragged on and places of work pushed again their reopening dates to the summer season, then to the autumn, then into subsequent yr, it grew to become clear the corporate would want extra assist to outlive.
“It’s wonderful how briskly you possibly can burn by way of cash whenever you’ve obtained nothing coming in and all of the overhead to keep up,” Mr. Meurer stated.
In latest weeks, his firm, Modular Techniques Technicians, acquired a $10,000 grant from a brand new state fund to assist small companies. He additionally obtained cash underneath a program that refunded $8 billion from the state employees’ compensation fund.
“It helped,” Mr. Meurer he stated. “It’s not almost sufficient, however they did what they might.”
The cash for the Ohio grant program, and from another latest state help efforts, truly got here from the federal authorities. As a part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act final spring, Congress created a $150 billion fund that states may faucet in responding to the virus. They got huge latitude in utilizing the cash — so long as they did so earlier than the tip of the yr.
Because the pandemic has flared anew, nevertheless, it has turn into clear that the financial disaster will final properly into subsequent yr, by which level the federal cash can be gone and state budgets can be unable to choose up the slack. So states are racing to make use of what’s left of the CARES Act cash to shore up their economies and construct a buffer for the winter.