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Coronavirus In Colorado: Steamboat Business Receives Coveted Federal Funding

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) - As the federal Paycheck Protection Program continues down a rocky path, some Colorado companies are successful at getting a piece of the $349 billion loan.

(credit: CBS)

"Our revenue has pretty much come to a screeching halt. It has been brutal, but our team has been amazing," said Bill Gamber, the co-founder of Big Agnes, an outdoor brand known for tents and sleeping bags.

The company has spent weeks trying to hold on to its 70 employees by cutting back on hours and reducing some salaries. Some members of the company spent countless hours preparing the application for the PPP loan program with Vectra Bank's branch in Steamboat Springs.

"We're one of the largest year-round employers in Routt County. I sort of feel obligated to the community to keep this alive. It's going to be a real challenge," Gamber said.

(credit: CBS)

The loan program opened on Friday with lackluster success. Other businesses have said banks have refused to process their application through the Small Business Administration.

Gamber says Vectra Bank employees told them to hold off for a few days. Big Agnes submitted a loan application on Sunday and was approved about a day later.

"We were funded late last night or early this morning. That was really great news for our entire organization," Gamber said.

According to the SBA, 75 percent of the loan must be used on payroll and can be forgiven.

With outdoor retailers closed and strict regulations prohibiting many camping spots, Gamber is uncertain about the future.

"It has been brutal, but our team has been amazing. Again, it's only eight weeks for us to be able to keep the lights on and I hope everybody buys new Big Agnes camping gear as soon as they can," he said with a laugh.

RELATED: Latest Updates On The Coronavirus Outbreak In Colorado

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