Small businesses across North Carolina have applied for federal loans to help stay open during the coronavirus pandemic. Some local restaurants worry that even with the buoy, they'll have a hard time staying afloat.

The Paycheck Protection Program provides business loans that can be forgiven if specific requirements are met over an eight-week period. Those include spending 75 percent of it on the payroll and meeting a threshold for full-time employees — something that business owners like Claire Calvin say is difficult to meet. 

She owns three Winston-Salem restaurants. Only The Porch Kitchen and Cantina remains open.

Calvin went from having around 120 employees to 40, and worries that establishments like hers won't make it.

“A lot of restaurants, myself included got money through the PPP," she says. "It's not going to be forgiven because we're not going to be able to get back to our full headcount by the deadline and so then you're facing a huge, huge monthly repayment."

Calvin hopes lawmakers will adjust PPP loan requirements for restaurants and other small businesses who are struggling to get back on their feet, because she says it's going to take a while.

She's still waiting for more guidance from local and state officials on what the reopening process will look like.

*Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

For the most up-to-date information on coronavirus in North Carolina, visit our Live Updates blog here. WFDD wants to hear your stories — connect with us and let us know what you're experiencing.

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