SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A surprise move from the United States Senate Tuesday night as they voted to extend the Federal Paycheck Protection Program. That program was to have ended Tuesday, but the Senate wants it to continue through August 8.
If the extension is going to happen, the U.S. House of Representatives would have to approve it by the end of this week and send it on to the President. In the meantime, business owners are left in limbo, wondering if the program is really over or if another month of help is on the way.
For many businesses, the Paycheck Protection Program has helped them weather one of the toughest seasons they could have ever imagined.
"The Paycheck Protection Program helped make sure that thousands of employees across South Dakota could continue to have jobs," Nathan Sanderson, Executive Director of the South Dakota Retailers Association, said.
With the program nearing its end, businesses will have to begin to adapt.
"We are to that point where we need to be courageous, and we need to be cautious in our courageousness as we do reopen," said Jeff Griffin, President & CEO of the Greater Area of Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce. "We need to support our businesses, and try to operate as much normal as possible but be safe and be smart while doing it,"
Sanderson says some businesses have already been operating without PPP.
"Most of the businesses that would participate in the program have long since applied for it and then received the funds, in most cases," Sanderson said. "So a number of those businesses have been without it already for a couple of weeks."
Robin Stoltman recently opened a new Hypnotherapy and Mind Coaching practice, and though she has no employees of her own, she can sympathize with what businesses have been through the past few months.
"I think the tides have changed, as far as what we value," Stoltman said. "Now we value our health, we value the things that matter the most to us, which is our family, our friends, and those who support us."
Though lawmakers have voted to extend the PPP, and say they hope to send out additional funds in the future, businesses can only continue to do the best they can under these trying circumstances.
"Continue to shop local," Sanderson said. "It's a real thing, it absolutely benefits the citizens of our state, and the business owners that give back to their communities.