The House of Representatives is expected to approve the plan, which includes $310 billion for small businesses, CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reported Thursday.
Julia Testa built her flower company from the ground up five years ago, with a location in Brooklyn and later a shop in SoHo.
“I’ve sacrificed a lot of my years in building this and so it’s a lot to look back on and say that all of it was for nothing,” Testa said.
DID YOU LOSE YOUR JOB AMID THE OUTBREAK?
She’s trying to make ends meet with minimal deliveries and creation, “Bloombox,” an at-home floral workshop, but as a florist, this is her busiest season.
“Corporate events alone we had to cancel upwards of $200,000 in business just for March and April alone and that’s not including weddings,” Testa said.
In early April, she applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan, but found out two weeks later the $349 billion meant to provide relief to small business owners ran out with thousands of applications still pending, including hers.
“It’s very frustrating to feel like you are forgotten,” Testa said.
She’s among those criticizing the program for giving funds to bigger companies.
WHAT IF YOU OWN A SMALL BUSINESS AND NEED HELP?
“For the same amount of money, for $20 million to go to one company versus 200 businesses, you are increasing the risk that these smaller companies will go out of businesses or go through very traumatic times moving ahead,” Testa said.
A big part of the program, and an important part for business owners DeAngelis spoke to is getting employees they let go back on the payroll.
Like at Hoboken’s Little City Books, which furloughed its 20 employees.
“I think we’re the type of business that it was meant for, so I’m hopeful of this second round and that we’re placed in the cue well enough to get something in the second round, it would help us a lot,” said store owner Donna Garban.
David Lewis, CEO of OperationsInc., a human resources consulting practice, said the second wave of funding, like the first, could take weeks to get in the hands of businesses. He said he believes it will likely take until mid-May before the full intended effect of the PPP is felt, resulting in unemployment claims piling up even more.
“The implementation of the PPP was designed in part to ‘flatten the curve’ of the unemployment claims chart. Businesses who received the loan would be directly motivated to stem the tide of layoffs and rehire those they let go, but that hasn’t been the case,” Lewis said. “It’s imperative that the PPP loan distribution process for round two be far more seamless and speedy to provide relief.”
He said it’s crucial those who haven’t applied do so immediately.
“Once the line starts moving again you want a place in that line because there’s still some significant concern about whether or not, as much money as they just put in again in this bill, is it enough to satisfy the demand?” Lewis said.
That remains to be seen, but these business owners remain hopeful. After all, they are crucial to the growth of the economy.