MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When the federal paycheck protection program (PPP) ran out of money, it left small businesses all over the country scrambling to pay their bills.

But PPP rebooted Monday morning with another $310 billion, offering loans to help companies pay their employees.

Small businesses apply for the loan through local banks, who have been busy processing the applications.

“We’ve pulled in people from every single area of the bank to help in processing these loans. It’s good for our employees too because now is a challenging time like any other business. It gives us something to really focus on and be part of the community,” said Highland Bank’s Kim Storey.

One of the businesses going through Highland Bank is Anna’s Bananas Daycare and Preschool. Anna Achtenberg, owner of the suburban Minneapolis daycare chain, applied during the first round. However, she was only able to access her money for the first time last week. When the check came through for her, it was a game-changer.

“It changes everything. I have about 127 employees. Prior to receiving the PPP loan, my unemployment stack of mail was very high. Today, our pile is almost nothing because we have  all of our employees that back to work full time,” said Achtenberg.

Using the loan, Achtenberg is able to not only pay her employees full time, she can also provide them with hazard pay. She is also hiring more workers.

Anna’s Bananas Daycare has all of its seven locations open at this time. Most of the clients dropping off children are essential workers.

Katie Steiner

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