As PPP Application Deadline Expires, Small Business Majority Releases Stories of Struggling Small Business Owners

For Immediate Release: 
Monday, June 29, 2020

Washington, DC — Today, with only one day left for small business owners impacted by COVID-19 to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Small Business Majority released the stories of several small business owners from across the country. In their own words, these small business owners share the challenges they are facing in the wake of the pandemic and emphasize the need for PPP to remain open for applications, while also undergoing additional reforms to make PPP workable for the smallest businesses in crisis. 

“When we started our business, it was our dream to bring authentic Nepalese food to the Bay Area. We started by selling food out of our home, and in the years since, our business has grown, and we have achieved that dream. We now employ more than 20 people and have multiple locations including a storefront in the heart of the city, a food kiosk, and we are often booked for food festivals and farmers markets,” said Binita Pradhan and Sunita Giri, owners of Binis Kitchen in California. “Once stay-at-home orders were issued, we watched our sales plunge by 90%. Foot traffic has significantly slowed, and catering has come to a halt. While we were fortunate to be approved for PPP, the crisis has lasted much longer than the initial eight-week calculation. We have used 100% of the loan on payroll to maintain our staff—they are like family to us—but we need additional assistance to maintain staffing levels and our business. It is our hope that Congress will expand PPP’s rules so that we can apply for a second loan and continue bringing our culture to the city we love.”

“It is hard to believe that Congress is going to let the PPP application deadline expire. It was not until last week that I could apply for the program. English is not my first language and there was a serious language barrier in learning about the program, getting educated on how it works, and then figuring out how to apply. At first, I was not sure the program could work for me, but with the changes Congress made this month, I decided to apply. I know I am not alone. There are many other business owners in my community that are in similar positions and need more time to understand the program and make the choice if they should apply. This crisis is still happening and businesses should not be shut out of help during their time of greatest need,” said Daisy Bedoya, owner of Graphx Signs in Florida.

“It took research and applying with eight different lenders before my PPP application was approved,” said Howard Paul, owner of Photography for Communication and Commerce in Colorado. “Nothing about the process was easy. In a time of crisis, when my business came to a standstill, I encountered obstacles time and again. I know countless other small businesses that are struggling right now, and time is of the essence to get assistance in hand. No other small business owners should be faced with the same challenges, and I hope that Congress will act to better support and encourage PPP lenders to process the smallest loans quickly.”

"PPP has failed me. During the stay-at-home orders we were open the entire time, helping to serve those families who need us, and we were glad to help. But with business down and most clients not bringing their children to daycare, our business has taken a very hard hit,” said LZ, owner and head of teachers at a childcare facility in California. “Now, we have been told that we will not qualify for PPP, despite our desperate need. We are running out of options, and we worry about staying open and being able to afford our operational costs, mortgage, and our staff. There is still plenty of money left in PPP to help businesses like mine, and every struggling small business should be able to access and receive an affordable loan in the wake of this crisis. It is time for Congress to fix the holes in the program that have left underserved businesses behind and prioritize providing assistance to those of us PPP has failed so that we can survive this crisis.”

A comprehensive list of reforms Small Business Majority recommends for PPP include: 

  • Extending the application deadline through December 31, 2020; 
  • Ensuring that the smallest businesses in the most need are able to apply for a second round of PPP funding; 
  • Prioritizing small business owners of color, women, and those businesses in rural areas when distributing the remaining PPP funds, as proposed in the Prioritized Paycheck Protection Program Act, by reserving the lesser of $25 billion or 20% of PPP funds for employers with 10 or fewer employees, as well as small businesses in underserved and rural communities; 
  • Automatically forgiving all loans under $150,000, which represents 86% of the program’s smallest borrowers, but only approximately 25% of all funds distributed through PPP; 
  • Incentivizing lenders to process and make small-dollar loans, by providing lenders with a minimum processing fee of $2,500 per loan;
  • Eliminating the current requirement that at least 60% of the loan funds are used for payroll costs in order to be forgiven; and
  • Extending the repayment period from two years to five years for existing borrowers.

For members of the media that wish to speak with small business owners about their experiences with PPP or with Small Business Majority policy experts, please contact Aimee Brierly at [email protected].

Small Business Majority’s complete COVID-19 policy agenda can be found here, and for recommendations on how to better serve business owners of color, click here.

About Small Business Majority

Small Business Majority was founded and is run by small business owners to ensure America’s entrepreneurs are a key part of a thriving and inclusive economy. We actively engage our network of more than 65,000 small business owners in support of public policy solutions and deliver information and resources to entrepreneurs that promote small business growth. Our extensive scientific polling, focus groups and economic research help us educate and inform policymakers, the media and other stakeholders about key issues impacting small businesses and freelancers. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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