Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020 | 2 a.m.
The Boulder Dam Hotel in Boulder City isn’t exactly a Las Vegas Strip resort. It doesn’t host millions of guests a year, its level of glitz and glamor is not comparable, and it’s run by a nonprofit organization, not a powerful corporation.
But in terms of feeling the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the hotel is just like those properties in the resort: It also had to close in the spring when nonessential businesses shuttered for nearly 90 days to help limit the spread of the coronavirus. And it is also trying to weather the storm of a second spike of infections.
So, property managers Roger and Roseanne Shoaff applied for help under the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program, which is designed to help small businesses survive the economic crisis and was approved as part of the CARES Act stimulus package in March.
“This most recent surge was unanticipated, and it has affected our business maybe even more than the first one did,” Roger Shoaff said.
More help should be on the way.
Further funding for portions of the disaster program were included in the stimulus package passed by Congress this week, fulfilling one of Nevada Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen’s goals from earlier in the summer.
Rosen, along with Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, introduced a bill in July that would have funneled more money into the grant and loan sections of the EIDL program. Further money in that program could revive the so-called EIDL advance grants — up to $10,000 given out to applicants without a responsibility to repay.
As of Dec. 17, 39,460 of the loans and 62,116 advance grants had been given out in Nevada for a total of $2.36 billion.
Though Shoaff said everyone they spoke with in the Small Business Administration, which oversaw EIDL distribution, “understood the situation small businesses were in,” they were overloaded and unable to help much. The couple turned to Rosen’s office for help in determining whether a loan would come through, and soon, they said, “they could start moving forward.”
Roseanne Shoaff called the loan “desperately needed” in order to keep the hotel open.
The core of Rosen and Cornyn’s bill is included in the recent stimulus package, though the money appropriated decreased from the $80 billion Rosen and Cornyn requested. In the package, $20 billion was earmarked for EIDL advance grants of $10,000 each.
Small businesses qualify if they’re in low-income communities, if they have 300 or fewer employees and if they have had a 30% revenue loss year-over-year in any quarter of 2020 or 2021.
That stimulus package still needs the signature of President Donald Trump, a process which hit a hiccup earlier in the week as he disagreed with Congress over $600 payments to individuals as part of the package, arguing they should be $2,000. Regardless of what Trump does, Congress likely has the votes to override any veto.
Rosen said that speaking to local businesses made it clear that getting portions of her bill into the stimulus package was vital.
“I was proud to work with our local chambers to help secure this much-needed relief for the backbone of Nevada’s economy: small businesses,” Rosen said. “Ninety-nine percent of businesses in Nevada are small businesses — the economic engines in every corner of our state.”