INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A local black-owned small business is ready to apply for the new Paycheck Protection Program, after opening a month before quarantine last year. New offers of forgivable loans start Wednesday for companies with fewer than 20 employees.
The Pink Tub opened last February and closed towards the end of March. Online sales have diminished and in-store purchases haven’t been the same. Sales are at stand still of 15% and owner Victoria Thomas-Bodie says it’s time for help.
It’s an organic handmade body and bath brand. All products use a 5-5-3 method, that includes five vitamins, five moisturizers and three antioxidants.
Thomas-Bodie started the business in 2012 in New York City. She brought the business to Indianapolis last year and says staff went from a handful to just one employee, which was herself.
Thomas-Bodie makes all the products on her own and has used almost every penny from her savings account, including her late husband’s monthly pension from the U.S. Armed Forces, which is about $2,500. The money is used to buy all the products, specifically goat milk, which has increased by almost a $1.
“If it’s not for the small businesses, this country would literally fall at its knees,” Thomas-Bodie said. “We need to get back to some type of normalcy. We need those loans, those grants, whatever it is they’re going to give to us. We need those to survive. We need those for marketing, social media platforms and we need those for other businesses that are coming behind us.”
The Biden administration says changes in the Paycheck Protection Program are to help reach minority-owned and very small businesses that may have previously missed out on accessing loans. The loan program will also be open to entrepreneurs with non-fraud-related felonies, those delinquent on their federal student loans and some non-citizen residents, like Green Card holders or those on visas, all who were excluded earlier.
Business owners can apply for the PPP loan online through the U.S. Small Business Administration.
To learn more about The Pink Tub, click here.