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Paycheck Protection dollars reach Roanoke

Some of the billions in aid offered to virus-challenged small businesses is sitting in the accounts of Tech Squared, a Roanoke IT firm. Co-owner Sean Peters needed about four hours to apply, and the loan for his nine-employee company arrived in four business days.

The money Tech Squared received came as a low-interest loan equal to two and a half times the company’s monthly payroll, the standard benefit under the Trump administration initiative called the Paycheck Protection Program.

The money is mainly for keeping pay and benefits intact through June 30, although a portion of it can be used for rent and utilities.

The government has said loans spent within those program guidelines will be forgiven.

Otherwise, recipients will repay over two years at an interest rate of only 1%. It’s a temporary lifeline to cover core expenses and is available to for-profit and nonprofit enterprises with fewer than 500 employees.

Peters’ IT firm hasn’t been hammered by the virus emergency the way restaurants and entertainment venues have been.

The work of managing, troubleshooting and repairing client IT systems is steady, especially now that employee remote access is mission critical. But the virus emergency is depressing the portion of his business devoted to IT projects, involving the sales and installation of equipment, Peters said.

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