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Pandemic Response: Looking at more loans to keep businesses afloat

Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 6:50 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) -

On Thursday, Senator Todd Young (R-IN) is talking economic relief to help businesses hit hard by COVID-19.

No baseball and fewer fourth of July fireworks means less cash for at least one pyrotechnic company, maybe more, but Senator Young thinks he has a plan that can help out those types of businesses and many others that are losing out during the pandemic.

"We will be laying off 70% of our 34 full-time employees," Mike Cartolano, President of Melrose Pyrotechnics says.

Senator Young co-authored the RESTART Act, a plan looking to help out small to medium sized businesses hit hard by COVID-19.

"Because our small businesses, our family owned businesses they are the heart of America's economy," Senator Young says.

The RESTART Act would provide a loan for six months of payroll and operating expenses.

A share of the loan will be forgiven based on 2020 revenue losses and the rest repaid over seven years.

No interest payments are due in year one, and no principal payments for the first two years.

"Our company revenue from 2019 to 2020, we will be down 80% of revenue," Cartolano says.

Melrose Pyro says those loans could help keep their employees on the job and facilities maintained. They've struck out on a big source of revenue and that's baseball, as well as fewer 4th of July fireworks. They're looking to keep things moving forward as best they can. It's a family business with employees who have worked there for many years.

"It's going to be a sad time, a sad day, when I have to start laying people off so we're keeping our fingers crossed that the government works together," Cortolano says.

There's the question; will their be compromise soon at the between Congress and the White House. Senator Young wants the RESTART Act attached to a stimulus package something those at the Federal level can't seem to agree on. So, in the meantime businesses will have to wait.

"I have one point five million pounds of explosives," Cortolano says.

Many that won't be bursting in air anytime soon.

“The stimulus needs to be pinpointed at industries like ours. We don’t get a do-over. We’re not like a restaurant that’s going to open up at 50% next week and then 100% two weeks later. We won’t get revenue back until sports open up next year, we’re taking about next may, next june until we see a revenue stream again,” Cortolano says.

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