small business

Questions Remain About Paycheck Protection Program

Some small businesses still question if it is meant for them

NBC Universal, Inc.

Congress is expected to pass a second installment of the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP.

It has been designed to help small businesses keep workers paid, and the economy going, during the coronavirus pandemic.

You may have heard about the high-end restaurant chain with 5000 employees that got a $20 million loan from the PPP.  While some have called this an exception, it has fueled doubts about who’s getting the help.

Darlene Sawe said for 31 years she and her husband’s Bristol auto repair business has “… always been a small mom and pop shop.”

Right now Sawe said their business is feeling the pain from the coronavirus pandemic.  “People are not driving so therefore they’re not needing maintenance on their vehicles and stuff”, she explained.

Sawe told NBC Connecticut she has remained skeptical any of the roughly $320 billion added to the PPP will get to her business after seeing how things went in the first round.

“We applied through SBA (Small Business Administration) both online and with our bank, and to this day we have not heard anything.”

The Trump administration was asked for assurances the second round of PPP funding will get to truly small businesses.

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said on CNBC, “We’re always making adjustments, wherever necessary, we’re always trying to be as totally as fair as possible in allocating this, but I think on the whole it has worked pretty darn well.”

The new PPP funding has set aside $60 billion for the country’s smallest lenders, which specialize in helping the smallest businesses.

U.S. Representative Jim Himes, from Connecticut’s 4th District, said “My hope is…that we can improve the situation and make sure that even the very smallest of our small businesses have access to the capital that they need.”

Sawe has decided to take a wait and see approach, while the bills pile up.   

“If something’s not done, a lot of us are gonna be gone.”

If the PPP does not get to people like Sawe this time, it does not appear there will be another shot, with U.S. Senate leadership indicating this would likely be the last installment of the program.

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