A high-ranking member of the Small Business Administration paid a visit to small businesses in Muskogee to see how they benefitted from the Paycheck Protection money.
The Small Business Administration said Oklahoma received a total economic boost of nearly $5.5 billion.
Small business owners said that money was the difference between closing up shop and keeping their employees on the job and getting paychecks.
Sue Pham owns Hollywood Hair in Muskogee and employs 17 people.
Pham said the Paycheck Protection money from the federal government was a life-saver.
"The PPP loan really helped them more than we thought. Wonderful; thanks for all that," said Pham.
66,000 small businesses applied for PPP loans in Oklahoma and received loans. Those owners said it was a huge relief not to have to lay-off their employees.
“it is right to help small business--that helps have food on the table,” said Pham.
Justin Crossie with the Small Business Administration said this is the kind of success story they like to hear. He said the whole goal of the Paycheck Protection Program was to keep businesses open
Justin Crossie, SBA:
"It is working. We have lower unemployment numbers than what was initially thought; you can see from Hollywood Hair that we have businesses that are reopening,” said Crossie. “They have the staff they need to do it, and the staff is glad to come back to work. The program is just really successful."
Crossie is traveling through Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arkansas to ask businesses what worked, what didn't, and what they need going forward, as different states have different issues with COVID-19.
"The entrepreneur is the heartbeat--the life blood--of the local economies, and I think you saw that firsthand here with Sue," Crossie said.
Sue certainly loves taking care of her employees and being a part of her community.
"It's good for me to pay for my business and give other people work,” Sue shared.