Wednesday, the Paycheck Protection Program was extended with nearly $130 billion still up for grabs.
The extension passed unanimously in the senate Tuesday night and was passed by the house on Wednesday.
The program has already helped several area businesses. With the extension set to become official, some of those who have already received the loan are extending some advice to others.
"I definitely want to encourage people to do it,” Allison Jansen Hall, owner of Allison Jansen Photography, said. “If you haven't done it yet and this could make a difference for you, it is 100% worth the effort."
Like many local business owners, Hall faced difficult times at the start of the pandemic.
"Everything stopped,” she told WAAY 31. “We had zero income for a little while there during the shutdown."
A photographer who normally handles a lot of weddings and newborn sessions, her business virtually shut down once cases were confirmed in the state.
Hall said she normally has about three employees during the busy season, but wasn't even able to keep her full-time editor around when times got tough.
Hall applied for the PPP, anxiously waiting for several weeks before receiving the loan. She called it “a bright spot” among all the “gloom.”
"If I had not gotten the PPP money, I would really be in a danger zone right now, especially with the upticks and kind of worrying about the future,” Hall explained.
Although she admits that she's still not entirely in the clear, Hall said she knows the money could be a difference maker for many businesses and encourages them to apply.
"Go for it, you have nothing to lose. Just give it a try, it's not that hard, it's not that complicated, it's worth it."