For small business owners across the country - the Paycheck Protection Program was a saving grace in a time of serious hardship.
The latest federal stimulus bill pumps $284 billion back into the program - a critical tool to keep businesses afloat during the pandemic.
Many small businesses considered the money from the CARES Act a lifeline earlier this year. They were able to stay open and keep employees on the payroll, and now, they're hoping a second round will do the same.
"I think that most of us really survived on it," said Kathleen Barnes, owner of 6th and Vine Wine Bar and Restaurant in Winston-Salem, "It's not that we were making all of this money on top of it. Really, it was able to get us to a baseline that enabled us to stay open."
Barnes says, without a doubt, she'll be applying for round two, now that President Trump has signed off on the $900 billion COVID-19 relief package. A large chunk of it revives the Paycheck Protection Program.
"There's another round of PPP loans which is going to be vital to keep those of us that are tenacious enough to still try to stay open...because it's not going to be an easy year in 2021," she said.
Jennifer Graf, owner of Vintage to Vogue Boutique in Greensboro, got some money from the program earlier this year, but it didn't last long. She says, she plans to look into the details - hoping to apply and qualify for the assistance.
"A lot of people don't think about all the money that goes into a small business," she said, "We've got rent, internet, phone, electricity, insurance, gas and water… I mean the list goes on and on.
The contrast of sales this year compared with last highlights the continued challenges small business owners face every day.
"This Christmas Eve, I made a total of $26 in sales...So, just to put that into perspective on how it’s been as a small business owner. I definitely don’t know the future for Vintage To Vogue."