DENVER — More than a dozen rural Colorado hospitals and primary care facilities applied for federal loans designed to keep staff employed during the coronavirus pandemic, federal data show.
The loan approvals came as rural hospitals across the country struggle with dwindling income, higher costs and staff retention, a plight exacerbated by the pandemic, according to the Colorado Hospital Association.
The federal Paycheck Protection Program helps smaller businesses stay open and keep Americans employed amid the coronavirus pandemic. Under the program, the government is backing $659 billion in low-interest business loans that will be forgiven if employers use the money on payroll, rent and similar expenses. Companies typically must have fewer than 500 workers to qualify.