CARES Act helps small business owner reclaim $58,000

U.S. Treasury Dept. to give Dave McMeekin cash instead of credit
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 5:37 PM EDT
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GREER, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - On Thursday, professional photographer Dave McMeekin received a ceremonial check for more than $58,000 but the real money is expected to arrive soon from the U.S. Treasury Department.

McMeekin’s business, Images, handles photography services for dozens of area schools. When the pandemic hit, he knew he was in trouble.

“Everything just came to a grinding halt,” McMeekin told FOX Carolina. “We didn’t have any pictures to take.”

McMeekin quickly familiarized himself with COVID relief measures, like the Paycheck Protection Program. He said those helped immensely - especially as business started to pick up again. In the midst of getting his financial matters in order, he met Michael Murray of Payroll Medics.

“He asked, ‘Are you aware of the ERTC?’ and then the ball went from there,” McMeekin said.

The Employee Retention Tax Credit through the COVID Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act allows business owners to take what would otherwise appear as a credit on their payroll tax form as a payment from the U.S. Treasury Department.

McMeekin learned that the credit, which works more like a tax refund, came with no strings attached.

“Because a lot of that money, I already paid,” McMeekin said.

Murray said some companies have discovered the credit first and are now advertising that they can help businesses find this money for a fee.

“Businesses...are attaching large fees for their service to the actual credit that a small business needs,” Murray said. “We are not doing that.”

Murray said many business owners are already dealing inflation, supply chain disruptions and the rising costs.

“That’s why many of them are seeking assistance just like this,” Murray told FOX Carolina.

Sharon Self, with the Greer Economic Development Corporation, said many area businesses are not aware that they might qualify for ERTC funds.

“I work with a lot of businesses downtown and I know what they’re going through,” Self said. “I actually picked up the phone and called about 10 small businesses. None of them had filed for ERTC funds.”