Connecticut employers have received $1.9 billion from the Paycheck Protection Program so far this year, but will it be enough to keep their doors open.
“Since the reopening in January, 22,000 Connecticut businesses and entities have received approval for either first draw or second draw PPP loans,” Catherine Marx, Connecticut district director for the Small Business Association, said.
The second round of loans are going to companies that did not receive money last year, as well as those who are going back for a second draw. To qualify though for a second draw, companies had to have fewer than 300 employees and to see a dip in their revenues of 25%.
“It is a loan that is intended to be 100% forgivable,” Marx said.
Tyler Anderson, who owns Millwright’s Restaurant and Tavern in Simsbury, said he received a first round of PPP funding and two of his four businesses qualify for the second round.
“The good thing about what happened here in Connecticut is we only got shut down once as opposed to a lot of other places that had multiple shutdowns,” Anderson said.
It meant he didn’t have to lay off all of his staff, but he’s still at 50% capacity for indoor dining so he’s still not able to serve as many customers as before the pandemic.
As a restaurant, Anderson will be able to access a greater loan.
“A food and accommodations business will get three and a half times and that is to try and ensure that they can have the federal relief going into spring,” Anderson said.
That’s three and a half times their average payroll costs.
“If we didn’t receive the first round, we would have had to hibernate two of our restaurants,” Anderson said.
Anderson said they’ve been able to keep all four restaurants going and as many people employed as possible, in fact, they’re hiring.
Eric Hogarth, a financial planner with Johnson Brunetti, said the economy is opening back up, venues are booking events, and the weather is getting better for outdoor dining.
“People are supporting the local businesses and the local communities and we just have to do more of that,” Hogarth said.
Anderson hopes he’s right.
“Slowly but surely, we’re getting there and this second round does help many, many, many restaurants that need it right now,” Anderson said.
Not every entity that received a first loan will need a second loan.
Chris Cusano, executive director of the Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance, said they are grateful for the first round, but won’t be applying for a second round.
“At the end of 2020 we received a very generous donation from one of our donors,” Cusano said.
Marx said they don’t know yet how many of the 22,000 business who applied for a second loan were applying for the first time or qualify because they have seen a loss in revenue.