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Unforgivable loans could close Fountain Square business

Fountain Square Yoga
Posted at 10:56 AM, Sep 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-30 12:51:05-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The pandemic has been tough for businesses especially small ones.

Governmental assistance, like the Paycheck Protection Program, were rolled out last year to help businesses bear the burden of an unprecedented time in our country where many businesses were forced to close down for months. Andrea Poppe, the owner of Fountain Square Yoga, said her business was hit hard.

She opened the yoga studio in October 2019.

"We were doing great. We had a good community coming. Wonderful yoga instructors. The classes were full. We were starting to build up our savings for the studio," Poppe said.

However, the pandemic forced her to dip into her savings.

"At first I didn't reach out for any government assistance, I said this is what my savings is for, to make it through something like that," Poppe said.

As the pandemic dragged on, Poppe exhausted the $10,000 in her savings account. At this point, she decided to apply for a PPP loan. Her bank helped her with the paperwork. She felt some relief knowing the loans she was getting were going to be forgiven, or so she thought.

Poppe tells WRTV, she received $5,000 from the Paycheck Protection Program and $12,500 from the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Despite what she was told by her bank at first, she just found out none of the loans she received are forgivable. For the PPP loan, it's because her employees are technically contractors.

RELATED | Paycheck Protection Program Frequently Asked Questions

"It would have made more sense for me to close and let my instructors file for unemployment," Poppe said.

As for the EIDL of $12,500, the Small Business Administration website states the loan has to be repaid without mentioning it could be forgiven.

RELATED | COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan information

To get a better understanding of Poppe's situation, which many others may be going through, WRTV talked to Laura Schafsnitz with the Small Business Administration. Schafsnitz said the governmental assistance programs were rolled out quickly to try and help business owners. Unfortunately, that may have led to the oversight.

RELATED | Get local assistance from the SBA

"Everybody was flying by the seat of their pants as they came out in order to execute these plans and help small businesses to keep their businesses open," Schafsnitz said. She encouraged anyone in a situation like this to reach out to them for help.

"If they reach out to us, hopefully, we can help them get back on track and find solutions that'll help them work better in the future," Schafsnitz said.

Poppe is doing everything she can to get back in the black. She's been in constant communication with her bank and the SBA. She recently started a GoFundMe to try and help with all of her bills that are piling up.

"We're bleeding out," Poppe said. "We're bleeding out mainly because all of a sudden, I have a giant loan payment coming out that I wasn't expecting to have because I was told this loan is going to be forgivable and then it wasn't for me."