- July 13, 2021
- Posted by: Stratford Team
- Category: Business
For 24 years, Ericka Gray has owned her own mediation and arbitration business in Arlington, Massachusetts, helping organizations navigate workplace disputes. But when the Covid-19 pandemic began, her income completely dried up. “I had no business, nothing for a number of months,” she said. “Everybody was otherwise occupied.”
Her bank, Citizens Bank, kept sending her emails prompting her to apply for a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program, which Congress passed early in 2020 to issue relief money to small business owners in order to keep workers employed and companies from shuttering. If used mostly on payroll, with a small portion on other expenses like rent or equipment, they would be entirely forgiven; otherwise they’d be converted to loans with 1 percent interest.
But Gray found the application difficult to parse as a sole proprietor. “I had no idea what to ask for,” she said. So someone from her bank walked her through it and…