“Be Very Cautious” With PPP Loans, House Seeks To Approve $ 484 Billion In Relief Fund
Small businesses across the country are anxiously awaiting approval of the $ 484 billion bill. Ami Kassar, CEO of Multifunding.com, joins Yahoo Finance to discuss this and more.
BRIAN SOZZI: Welcome to Yahoo Finance. We now have Ami Kassar, CEO of Multifunding.com, back with us. Friend, nice to talk to you again. The House is therefore expected to vote today on a new $ 484 billion relief bill. $ 310 billion will be designed to replenish this paycheck protection program that targets small businesses. What are you hearing from your small business customers right now?
FRIEND KASSAR: So there are still a lot of small businesses that really fall into three categories, some that are lucky to have money in the bank – they’re lucky – others that were approved last time around but are still waiting for the money, and then there are others who are really anxious and are hoping that they will get their approval in this round of money, which we expect to go pretty quickly.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Friend, what advice would you give to those people who already have the PPP money and think, you know, maybe I can play around with the system a little bit here because we know there are conditions to get this government money. What would you advise them?
FRIEND KASSAR: Be very careful. So the intention – you know, it’s the paycheck protection program, not the contractor protection program. This program is designed – the intention of this program is to use business as a mechanism to keep people out of unemployment and keep them – the wages on their – you know, have their wages and let them have their money. food on their tables during this time. It’s not designed to really protect businesses or protect businesses. And so people who don’t use it that way and people who don’t follow the letter of the law, I think, are going to be in trouble.
I hear a lot of questions like, well, why should I bring my people back if I have nothing for them to do? Well, that’s what the program is for. It’s meant to give a measure of the gap to allow these things to happen.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: So is this – just a quick follow up for you, Friend, if you are not planning to bring all your workers back, should you apply for this loan and get this money to start, if you know from the start you don? not going to be able to do the things that are asked of you by the government?
FRIEND KASSAR: I do not think so. You know, it’s like a mad rush for money. But remember, the law only allows you to use that money for one of four things: payroll, rent, or utilities, or in some cases, payroll-related health care costs. You can’t use it for anything else. So use the money for what it’s intended for, and you’ll be fine.
BRIAN SOZZI: Friend, as someone who has dedicated their career to working with small businesses, when you hear the likes of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Shake Shack and many other companies of this size trying to access some of these loans, what is your reaction?
FRIEND KASSAR: Look, I … I mean, I feel bad. My heart is broken for the small businesses that couldn’t get the money. It really is, as long as they plan to use the money for the intended purpose. What I want to know, if you’re Shake Shack and Ruth’s Chirs, is if they don’t take the money are all these people going to end up unemployed anyway? Because remember, the main root of the program is to help people stay on the payroll, not necessarily to save small businesses. This is the intention of this loan.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: So what would you advise companies that are waiting for this money? There is no guarantee that they will get it. We saw the money run out last time. Now they’re – the government is rebuilding itself, but that money shouldn’t be around very long. So what is the contingency plan here, if any, for these companies and their workers?
FRIEND KASSAR: I strongly advise businesses that have not yet received SBA approval to have a Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C in place now, especially those online at a major bank, which has was such a fiasco last time around. Try to find a local community bank in your neighborhood or community that participates in the program and apply there. And they could ask for a checking account, and that’s okay. Or perhaps, turn to an authorized fintech lender to participate in the program. But spread your risk a couple – spread your cards and put apps in a few places because it’s a maze, and there’s always a little lottery element.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: I want to ask really quickly, you bring up something really interesting, I didn’t know you could apply to more than one location, right? Or I thought maybe you would risk being turned down because you applied to multiple places.
FRIEND KASSAR: What you need to be careful of is that your first app that comes into the SBA server is – then you’re stuck. So you need to make sure that whoever gets you there first is credible and will actually be able to fund you and is in fact submitting your application for the amount of money you are asking for. But if a second request reaches the SBA server, that request will be denied because there is fraud in it.
BRIAN SOZZI: All right, Ami Kassar, CEO of Multifunding.com. Glad to talk to you again. We will speak with you soon.
FRIEND KASSAR: My pleasure, take care of yourself now.