Top Headlines: Navigating the small business loan process, Honda extends production suspension

Like most things with government, navigating loan process will take patience
The electronic system the Small Business Administration is using to set up new coronavirus loans was down much of Monday, according to senior banking executives, making it impossible for many new loans to be guaranteed. Billions of dollars in loans sought by small businesses trying to pay employees and keep their doors open were on pause as the SBA, supported by the Treasury, grapples with the demand on its system. – NBC

State’s office processing unemployment claims also overwhelmed
The Alabama Department of Labor is swamped with unemployment claims thanks to the coronavirus, processing about 90,000 initial unemployment claims in the last two weeks of March. Public health officials have closed many businesses in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. That’s forced employers to furlough or lay off workers. On Monday, the department said it has paid $6 million in coronavirus-related claims. – WBHM

Honda extends production suspension through May 1
On Monday, Honda announced that it was again adjusting its production operations in the U.S. and Canada as the company continues to evaluate conditions because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Honda Manufacturing of Alabama plant in Lincoln, along with all of Honda’s automobile, engine and transmission plants in the U.S. and Canada, will extend its production suspension through May 1. – Gadsden Times

UAB opens campus residence hall for COVID-19 positive medical workers
Governor Ivey reports 200 health care workers in Alabama have tested positive for COVID-19. That’s why UAB is making a major move to isolate and help these workers recover. UAB Student Housing will dedicate a dorm to housing the employees. Due to the crisis the plan is moving quickly. A message went out to students over the weekend. Camp Hall was selected as the site for medical workers to use. Signs are posted on the front doors. – WBMA

Now might be a good time for more Medicaid, Jones says
The spread of the new coronavirus, the resulting strain on hospitals and the possible infusion of federal relief money is rekindling talks of expanding the state’s Medicaid program. For ten years Alabama has resisted expanding its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act, mostly on fiscal grounds. Some estimates show expanding the program to include 360,000 more residents would cost the state about $170 million in the first year alone with increasing costs going forward. – WBRC

- Sponsor -

Shipt shoppers plan walkout, Birmingham company responds to claims
Workers at a Birmingham-based shopping service are planning a nationwide work stoppage as the coronavirus crisis continues to disrupt American life. Shoppers for Shipt announced Monday they plan a walk off today if demands are not met for safety improvements, better pay and other measures aren’t met by the company purchased by Target in 2017. –

Governor announces launch of COVID-19 website hub
Gov. Kay Ivey has announced the launch of, a website that will serve as a hub of information for the state’s response to the coronavirus crisis. The site is designed to be the state’s official guide to COVID-19 relief efforts, to help those impacted by the outbreak and those who want to offer support. – AL NewsNet

Huntsman to make hand sanitizer at Alabama specialty chemical plant
Specialty chemicals company Huntsman Corp. said Monday it is making hand sanitizer at its McIntosh, Alabama manufacturing plant for health care facilities in the U.S. The Texas-based company said it would start to make hydro alcoholic solution to produce hand sanitizer in Switzerland. The company will donate the first five-ton shipment to Huntsman Cancer Institute and related medical facilities at the University of Utah. – MarketWatch

The latest Alabama business news delivered to your inbox