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Small Business Administration assists Vegas businesses impacted by coronavirus

Posted at 9:48 AM, Mar 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-14 15:50:05-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — From one end of the Las Vegas valley to the other, the spread of the new coronavirus is making wallets lighter and impacting businesses from major resorts on the Strip to hundreds of small businesses that support and supply them.

Coco Vinny Zaldivar sells coconut water called Coco Taps, and the disease's spread has greatly impacted his bottom line.

"We've probably lost 95% of our revenue right now," he said. "It has just come to a screeching halt."

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Zaldivar's business is targeted at resorts and cruise lines, which have both been walloped during this global COVID-19 pandemic - leaving what he calls a $2,000,000 business dry.

"This last couple of weeks has been a real kick in the coconuts, to be honest," Zaldivar said. "it's tough to adjust from going from upscale to screeching halt."

Joseph Amato, district director of the Small Business Administration, said Zaldivar isn't alone in his financial hardship.

Amato said several businesses have called the SBA reporting a 50% loss in profits since the outbreak, and others have reported a near-total halt in their revenue streams.

"The tourist industry, hospitality, felt it immediately," Amato said.

He also said for every large resort in Las Vegas; there are hundreds of smaller businesses that support or supply them.

As the disease continues to spread, Amato said they're forecasting a 3 to 6-month financial impact on area businesses.

"We're hoping that the greatest impact can be over in the next couple of weeks," he said.

And there will be assistance during these weeks.

Amato said the SBA will offer low-interest loans to affected businesses beginning Monday for up to $2,000,000 - hopefully allowing owners like Zaldivar to ride out the downturn.

"You've just got to take the punches as they come and find out how to be part of the solution," Zaldivar said.

Amato said business owners should calculate their projected losses over 3 to 6 months and apply for a loan from the federal government in that amount here.

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