Small business owners need the cash now or they won’t survive
We all know the spread of COVID-19 is having a devastating impact on small businesses across the country. With the economy essentially on hold and growing uncertainty in communities across the United States, business owners have had to grapple with how to stay afloat during this unprecedented time.
Although Congress has allocated $ 350 billion in loans to small businesses under the CARES Act Stimulus Plan’s Paycheck Protection (P3) program, small businesses are desperate to get money out of their pockets. their bank accounts. P3 loans are designed to provide the help that business owners desperately need, but many report that the emergency loan programs currently in place are just not helping them right now … and the time is running out. If they don’t get funding as soon as possible, hundreds, if not thousands, of businesses across the country will shut down forever.
“The intention and the desire politically and financially is to support small businesses. The problem is the process by which to deploy that money, ”said Sean Flannery, owner of The Sheelen crossing, a bar / restaurant in the suburb of Fanwood, NJ.
“I submitted an SBA EIDL loan application seven days ago and received a confirmation that they would respond to me with the next step. To date, I haven’t heard from them, but obviously I can’t wait to hear from them.
Without this funding, Flannery says his establishment will not survive.
“Our revenues are down 65 to 70%. We can only serve curbside, ”added Flannery. “In the future, we will not be able to pay the rent and pay our costs if our current income levels are maintained.”
A survey recently published by Majority of small businesses provides an overview of the dismal state of small business right now and what we stand to lose if something is not done to provide small business financing immediately. the survey of 500 small business owners Nationwide was conducted by Chesapeake Beach Consulting for Small Business Majority between April 6-9, 2020.
The survey interviewed 500 small business owners nationwide and found that 9 in 10 small businesses have been affected by COVID-19, with 43% indicating severe negative impact. Additionally, he found that 41% of small business owners experienced a drop in their income from 50% or more. A third of small businesses have closed permanently, and an additional 14% plan to do so.
One of the most alarming figures is that of reported layoffs. Among the employers who made redundancies, 40% say the layoffs were permanent and 1 in 3 companies have made redundant, put on leave or reduced their entire workforce.
In terms of policy solutions, the poll also found that 92% of small business owners support direct aid in the form of grants to help with the recovery. While the Payroll Protection Program is at risk of running out of money and SBA Economic Disaster Loan (EIDL) are at a standstill, 86% of respondents support expanding financial assistance for rent, mortgage and utility payments in not link aid to the maintenance of the wage bill as required by the PPP program.
These are the things that happen with government-run programs; stipulations which may seem reasonable may ignore practice. Paying workers is important, but so are rent and utilities – at a time when incomes are drastically reduced or, in many cases, non-existent.
“As the owner of a travel agency, our business has taken a hard hit. All business is frozen, sales are down almost 99% and as a result I have had to cut employee wages and hours. I desperately want to keep my staff and saw PPP as a way to keep them on the job, ”said Anastasia Mann, owner of Corniche Travel in California.
“However, the application process was complicated and I was asked to reapply several times, compromising my place in the queue and delaying the disbursement of money my business urgently needs,” said Mann added. “While I remain hopeful that the loan will come, if Congress is serious about helping small businesses stay afloat and keep employees on the payroll, it must immediately allocate direct assistance to small businesses.”
Restaurants and the travel industry have been hit hard, understandably, but almost every industry is struggling right now.
“In the midst of the worst financial crisis our business has seen since opening more than five years ago, we hoped that applying for PPP would be straightforward and that help would arrive quickly. However, what we went through was anything but simple, ”said Rebecca Winters and Lauren Fields, owners of Lowcountry Children’s Cooperative, an early childhood education center, in South Carolina.
“After getting the tour of three different banks, we were finally able to submit an application. Now we are concerned that the funding for the program will disappear before our application is processed and the loan is received, ”said Winters and Fields. “For businesses like ours to be successful, Congress must pass unrestricted additional aid before it is too late.”
“While the administration debates when is the appropriate time to reopen the economy, there remains the idea that once everything reopens, the small business community will bounce back to normal. However, our results reveal how the impact of coronaviruses is spreading, ”said John Arensmeyer, Founder and CEO of Small Business Majority.
“Nine out of ten businesses have been affected, but only a small fraction of them have received the aid they were promised. The COVID-19 recovery assistance programs passed in the CARES Act are not providing the quick relief needed to help small businesses now and in the future, ”he added.
“While Congress has already recognized the gaping gaps in P3s, simply filling those gaps will not be enough. What small businesses need are expanded assistance programs that include direct and unrestricted financial assistance, ”suggests Arensmeyer.
One of the problems is that banks are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of requests, and many of them weren’t configured for digital applications in the first place. During this coronavirus crisis, speed is everything. This is why fintech companies are working closely with banks during this time. The goal is to prepare banks to process loans quickly. For example, the Biz2X Accelerate SBA The platform is now offered free to community banks and credit unions with assets under $ 10 billion that offer PPP loans.
The platform enables lenders to offer a range of benefits, such as giving borrowers access to a user-friendly digital PPP app experience and providing the ability to electronically upload, submit and sign the required documentation. It also enables automatic retrieval and verification of required salary, tax and financial data. Additionally, it reduces review time, paperwork, and manual efforts involved in processing loan applications and offers electronic submission through SBA E-Tran.
The survival of small businesses in the current economic environment is approximately time. If Main Street does not get money quickly, there may be no more businesses after the health crisis is over.