Paycheck Protection Program runs dry; Marshall blames Democrats


SALINA — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza announced Thursday that the $349 billion in funding appropriated for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in the CARES Act has been fully distributed to business owners.


The program can no longer accept additional small business loan applications until more funds are appropriated by Congress.


Democrats blocked an effort by Senate Republicans late last week to stave off the situation and replenish the funding. U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall joined his Republican colleagues in a call to appropriate more funding that would help Kansans who are struggling as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.


“This program has been a huge success for Kansas businesses and lenders,” said Marshall. “Kansas workers need pay checks, not unemployment and this program is helping do just that. Nancy Pelosi is holding Kansas workers and businesses hostage so she can grow the government.”


Lenders across Kansas have used the PPP program to provide more than $3.7 million in loans to 19,915 Kansas businesses. Business owners in need of assistance are now being left behind, putting them at risk of closing their doors for good.


Disaster loan deadline looms


Director Tanya N. Garfield of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West recently reminded Kansas small businesses of the May 1 deadline to apply for an SBA federal disaster loan for economic injury caused by flooding in Marion County that occurred June 22-July 6, 2019.


According to Garfield, small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.


“Economic Injury Disaster Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the applicant suffered any property damage,” Garfield said.


These low-interest federal disaster loans are available in Butler, Chase, Dickinson, Harvey, Marion, McPherson, Morris and Saline counties.


Interest rates are 4% for businesses and 2.75% for private nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.


Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call 800-877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.


IRS launches online help with stimulus funds


The IRS is regularly updating the Economic Impact Payment and the Get My Payment tool frequently asked questions pages on IRS.gov as more information becomes available. Taxpayers should check the FAQs often for the latest additions; many common questions are answered in these.


More than 80 million Economic Impact Payments have already been delivered to the nation’s taxpayers. More payments are on their way. As part of this effort, the IRS has launched two tools to help taxpayers get their payments:


Get My Payment is helping millions of taxpayers. Since its launch on April 15, millions of taxpayers have been able to input their direct deposit information to speed — and track — their payments. The IRS reminds taxpayers the information is updated once daily, usually overnight, so they only need to enter information once a day.


The Non-Filers Enter Payment Info tool is helping millions of taxpayers successfully submit basic information to receive Economic Impact Payments quickly to their bank accounts. This tool is designed only for people who are not required to submit a tax return.


The IRS said it is working to deliver Economic Impact Payments to all eligible Americans as quickly as possible.


Quick links to the Frequently Asked Questions on IRS.gov:


Economic Impact Payments: www.irs.gov/eipfaq


Get My Payment tool: www.irs.gov/getmypaymentfaq


Pixius sold to Wisper, KiwiKom


Wisper ISP and KwiKom Communications announced the purchase of Pixius Communications LLC. Wisper will be acquiring Pixius customers within the Kansas City, Mo., and western Missouri area. KwiKom will procure the Pixius customers within the Wichita and central Kansas area.


All three companies are working to make the change as smooth a transition as possible for the Pixius customers. Wisper and KwiKom look forward to providing a high level of customer service to Pixius customers. The teams at Wisper and KwiKom plan to make upgrades to the Pixius network shortly after gaining access. Both companies understand that fast, reliable high-speed Internet is especially important right now due to the number of individuals required to work and follow online learning at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


“KwiKom and Pixius have been great to work with,” said Wisper CEO Nathan Stooke. “Wisper looks forward to continue building a friendship in hopes that we can work together to conquer the digital divide.”


KwiKom will be adding Pixius employees to its team. The engineering staff at Pixius has developed a strong network and KwiKom is excited to bring on their knowledge and experience to assist with their build-out and upgrade efforts.


When asked about the acquisition, KwiKom vice president Zachery Peres said, “This is a great step to bring reliable unlimited Internet to more Kansas communities.”


Wisper ISP Inc. is a wireless internet service provider that brings unlimited high-speed internet to customers in both rural and metropolitan communities.


KwiKom Communications is a wireless and fiber optic internet service provider bringing unlimited high-speed internet to rural and in-town areas. KwiKom’s home office is located in Iola.