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'This has been literally the hardest week of my life' | Business owners struggle, loan program available for relief

Triad leaders announced Thursday a loan program available for small business owners, acknowledging this is only the beginning of relief efforts.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The coronavirus is causing small businesses to take a hard hit in Greensboro. 

They said they need the community right now more than ever. 

"This has been literally the hardest week of my life," said Undercurrent owner Wes Wheeler.

The restaurant is normally packed on Battleground Avenue right around dinner time, but Thursday evening it sat empty since all bars and restaurants were ordered to close for dine-in customers.

"We're tired, we've had a scramble, we've had to change business models, we've had to lose revenue, we've had to lay off people, we've hemorrhaged money," said Wheeler. 

From hospitality to haircuts, the coronavirus concerns are effecting every small business on the block.

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Angel Putnam's salon for kids lost $5,000 dollars just in the last week. 

"You're kind of trying to find that strength to put a smile on your face and come to work and allow everyone to know it's gonna be OK, and you still have the unknown in the back of your head that makes it kind of hard," said Putnam.

Triad Leaders announced a new loan program available now for small businesses and non-profits. 

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The loans have interest rates of 3.75 percent for small businesses and 2.75 for non-profits.

Leaders say the loans could have a turn around in funds of 2 to 3 weeks.

Leaders are encouraging those who need the relief to apply now to get the ball rolling. 

Businesses said it's a start, but not the whole answer. 

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"The conversations like today are just a beginning of conversations, just one solution of money because I'm just fearful this is just not quite enough right now for all of us to make it," said Wheeler.

"If we don't see a change and this there will sadly be a point where I have to close my doors," said Putnam.

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Both Putnam and Wheeler aren't sure if they'll participate in the loan program. 

Wheeler says he expects to lose out on $150,000 in the next month because of event changes like the cancellation of the ACC Tournament and postponement of the grand opening of the Tanger Center. 

There's no cost to apply for the loan, according to local leaders. 

For more information on how you can apply for a small business loan, click here.

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