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Indiana Black Expo to host small-business webinar

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A panel of experts is coming together to break down what the government stimulus package related to COVID-19 means for you.

The Indiana Black Expo is hosting the event digitally at 3 p.m. Thursday. Organizers said since word of the stimulus program came out, some have been concerned if the package applies to them. The short answer: yes.​

Business are feeling COVID-19’s impact as many have shut down. Any financial safety net some businesses may have had is gone.

“The fear is tremendous because it’s almost like the twilight zone we’re stepping into the unknown,” said Cynthia Oda.

Oda is a small-business owner who works closely with schools. With the shutdown happening at the end of the year, it’s been hard on her staff.

“We have people who rely on those funds to actually support their families,” she said.

Indiana Black Expo President Tanya Mckinzie says the minority small-business community will likely be hit the hardest. She’s hopeful the government stimulus packages will help.

“We had an opportunity to talk to some of the small businesses in our community and many of them feel many of them do not think that they are eligible. And many of them are,” said Mckinzie.

To help break down how to apply and who can apply, the Indiana Black Expo is hosting an hourlong webinar on it’s website.

There will be lawyers, banker and others who can talk business owners through the process.

Oda is joining the webinar. She said, although some people are getting extensions on paying rent and mortgages, the debt is going to still need to be paid.

“I got to help my people stay afloat from now until the time this is over and that’s what the stimulus package will help us do,” said Oda.

Mckinzie said for this stimulus package the government has relaxed some of the rules. So even if you haven’t formalized your company or filed with the secretary of state, apply because you may still qualify.

“Our communities can’t thrive without them and so it’s incumbent upon us not only to come alongside them to help grow their businesses but also help start businesses,” said Mckinzie.

She says it’s imporant not assume you won’t qualify. And just to take advantage of every opportunity to make sure minority businesses are also still operating after the pandemic.