A Connecticut small business owner says she’s still waiting to see if she’ll get any help from the slightly revamped, second round of the multi-billion-dollar federal Paycheck Protection Program, part of the Cares Act passed by Congress and the president to help small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
For seven years, Gisele Tyler has run a successful eyelash extension business. LashBrow Center Wilton was one of the first businesses that had to close because of the proximity she and her teams have to have with clients.
“The client is literally reclined within 13, 14, 15 inches," she explained.
Tyler says she thought she’d have a good shot at getting a PPP loan, but she said her bank was overwhelmed.
“By the time we found out that the money was gone, they had still never contacted us.”
The program’s initial $350 billion of funds got wiped out in a matter of weeks. Tyler was not sure what to think about the program, which is administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Weekly loan data it shares indicates in 2020, between 23-40% percent of its standard loans went to minority-owned small businesses, and a smaller percentage, 11-27%, went to female-owned small businesses.
Tyler said, “…particularly women-owned businesses in the health and beauty industry, again, we were one of the first non-essential businesses to be shut down. So, as far as I’m concerned, a lot of us were first in on that process.”
Last week Congress and the president signed off on a second installment of the PPP to the tune of $310 billion.
This time around, the SBA has fine-tuned it so larger, publicly owned businesses cannot apply; businesses must certify the loans are needed, and a lot of the money is in the hands of smaller banks that are geared to lending to small businesses.
Tyler has remained optimistic.
“I’m hopeful I believe in the human spirit. I always do. The system needs a little work.”
She did receive a separate, very small grant, and a smaller forgivable loan from the SBA. Her bank did recently send her an email saying her second PPP application is complete and on the way to the SBA.