COVID-19

Small businesses uncertain about emergency loan applications

Justin Ho Apr 15, 2020
HTML EMBED:
COPY
Small businesses are still waiting on money from the Paycheck Protection Program. Victor J. Blue/Getty Images
COVID-19

Small businesses uncertain about emergency loan applications

Justin Ho Apr 15, 2020
Small businesses are still waiting on money from the Paycheck Protection Program. Victor J. Blue/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The Small Business Administration’s pandemic emergency lending program has approved more than 1.3 million loan applications. The SBA said those loans are worth almost $300 billion, putting the average under its Paycheck Protection Program at roughly $220,000.

The SBA reported this week that the industry sectors with the most approved loans are construction, manufacturing and technology. Businesses in California, Texas, and Florida are receiving the most money — which makes sense because they’re the three most populous states.

New York is fourth, but it came in behind Illinois. That worries New York City small business commissioner Gregg Bishop.

“What I’m hearing from small businesses is either their bank is not participating because they have a smaller community bank, or their bank got online much later than the rest of the United States,” Bishop said.

Some businesses aren’t sure where their applications are in the process. Ashwin Deshmukh, who owns a cocktail bar in Manhattan, thinks he might have been approved. His bank accepted all his paperwork, but he hasn’t gotten any confirmation.

“I think it’s impossible to tell if anything’s happened until you have the money in your account,” Deshmukh said.

It’s a similar story for Washington D.C. marketing consultant Alexandra Mason, who applied back when the program started.

“I sent in my application and they acknowledged that they have it,” she said. “And then I haven’t heard a thing for a week.”

Mason said until she sees the loan in her business account, she’ll remain skeptical about the SBA program. And she said she’s not the only small business owner to feel that way.

“I’m never going to pooh-pooh a million businesses getting approved,” Mason said. “But you don’t have to look very far. I mean, just look at Twitter, and it’s just scrolls of people saying ‘This isn’t what I’m experiencing.'”

Those small business owners are hoping that their loans get approved as soon as possible. The Wall Street Journal reported today that the SBA program is about to run out of money.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

How many people are flying? Has traveled picked up?

Flying is starting to recover to levels the airline industry hasn’t seen in months. The Transportation Security Administration announced on Oct. 19 that it’s screened more than 1 million passengers on a single day — its highest number since March 17. The TSA also screened more than 6 million passengers last week, its highest weekly volume since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While travel is improving, the TSA announcement comes amid warnings that the U.S. is in the third wave of the coronavirus. There are now more than 8 million cases in the country, with more than 219,000 deaths.

How are Americans feeling about their finances?

Nearly half of all Americans would have trouble paying for an unexpected $250 bill and a third of Americans have less income than before the pandemic, according to the latest results of our Marketplace-Edison Poll. Also, 6 in 10 Americans think that race has at least some impact on an individual’s long-term financial situation, but Black respondents are much more likely to think that race has a big impact on a person’s long-term financial situation than white or Hispanic/Latinx respondents.

Find the rest of the poll results here, which cover how Americans have been faring financially about six months into the pandemic, race and equity within the workplace and some of the key issues Trump and Biden supporters are concerned about.

What’s going to happen to retailers, especially with the holiday shopping season approaching?

A report out recently from the accounting consultancy BDO USA said 29 big retailers filed for bankruptcy protection through August. And if bankruptcies continue at that pace, the number could rival the bankruptcies of 2010, after the Great Recession. For retailers, the last three months of this year will be even more critical than usual for their survival as they look for some hope around the holidays.

Read More

Collapse

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.