CHICAGO (CBS) — In Chicago 5,700 business owners have applied for Chicago’s Small Business Resiliency Fund. Some of those loans have already been pushed out.

Starting Friday another lifeline will become available. It’s a federal loan that business owners may never have to repay, and for some it’s the only option that makes sense.

Spring Capers owns a once booming South Loop hair salon.

Spring Capers owns a once booming South Loop hair salon, but now amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she is looking to the federal government for help through the Paycheck Protection Program. (CBS)

“We moved here like two and a half years ago, and we doubled our business,” Capers said. “And then the virus hits.”

It’s just not the same these days.

“My salon hasn’t been closed for two months ever,” she said. “I’ve been doing hair for 30 years. No.”

Chairs sit empty. Combs, curling irons and other tools sit still as hairs sit empty. Workers sit at home.

“There’s no revenue. We can’t make any money,” said Capers.

No revenue means no paychecks for Capers’ six stylists. This is the first week she can’t pay them.

“I didn’t know how we would get through April, and now since it’s going to April 30, how we would get through May,” she said.

Her employees are like family. Even now they keep in touch.

“When we had our conference call everybody has their rent money for April 1, so we could breathe,” she said.

The federal Paycheck Protection Program offers a little more relief for her and her stylists.

“Instead of them going on unemployment, if I get the loan, and it’s a forgivable loan to cover payroll, then they can kind of be made whole,” Capers said.

The loan would provide money for Capers to pay her utilities and keep paying her employees for eight weeks.

“I get the money in from the government, and it’s going out to them,” she said.

As long as she doesn’t let anyone go, her loan will be forgiven.

“I cannot afford to take on any more debt,” she said.

She’s going directly through her bank to navigate the process.

“Supposedly this should be faster,” said Capers.

It’s a much needed financial lifeline to help her stay afloat until her salon is buzzing with activity and clients again.

“I believe — I do know — we will be here when it’s over,” she said.

Capers wants to share what she’s learning with other salon owners. Thursday morning she’s hosting a webinar offering tips on how to apply for the SBA loan. It can be found here, and the meeting ID number is 778 565 1217.

Dorothy Tucker