COVID-19

Small business owners eye a second Paycheck Protection Program loan

Justin Ho Dec 23, 2020
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A restaurant employee moves between tables outside of a restaurant in Manhattan on Dec. 11 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images
COVID-19

Small business owners eye a second Paycheck Protection Program loan

Justin Ho Dec 23, 2020
Heard on:
A restaurant employee moves between tables outside of a restaurant in Manhattan on Dec. 11 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
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It’s a good bet that business owners of all stripes are eyeing the new Paycheck Protection Program money in Congress’ relief bill. But those same business owners haven’t forgotten that the first round of PPP money didn’t roll out so smoothly. 

We checked in with some small business owners to talk about the pros and cons of applying for a PPP loan all over again.

The new Paycheck Protection Program that Congress is proposing would allow restaurants and hospitality businesses to take out bigger loans.

Mark Frier owns three restaurants in Vermont and said he’d like to spend more on supporting his staff during the difficult, colder months.

“We’re running in a deficit right now, just even trying to remain open and keep our employees on payroll,” he said.

Congress’ proposal would also make it easier for smaller loan borrowers to apply for forgiveness.

Sophie Blake owns a jewelry store in Virginia. She said it was a struggle to apply for her $14,000 PPP loan.

“There were about 20 to 30 pieces of documentation I had to submit,” she said. “I’m still waiting to hear back whether I’m going to get forgiven or not.”

Blake said her jewelry sales have been slow this holiday season, which is usually one of her busiest times. And next year, her rent is going up.

She said if her PPP loan isn’t forgiven, she probably won’t apply for another one.

“I don’t think I want to take on any more debt. You know, I already feel anxious with the debt that we have,” Blake said.

Some PPP recipients aren’t sure they need this second go-around. Jackie Laundon is a public health consultant based in Colorado.

“After the disastrous quarter two in the spring, I’m in a better position at the end of the year,” she said. “And so, I’m not sure. To be honest right now, I’m leaning toward no.”

Laundon said she’d like to think that by holding back, business owners who need a loan more than she does will have a better chance.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Millions of Americans are unemployed, but businesses say they are having trouble hiring. Why?

This economic crisis is unusual compared to traditional recessions, according to Daniel Zhao, senior economist with Glassdoor. “Many workers are still sitting out of the labor force because of health concerns or child care needs, and that makes it tough to find workers regardless of what you’re doing with wages or benefits,” Zhao said. “An extra dollar an hour isn’t going to make a cashier with preexisting conditions feel that it’s safe to return to work.” This can be seen in the restaurant industry: Some workers have quit or are reluctant to apply because of COVID-19 concerns, low pay, meager benefits and the stress that comes with a fast-paced, demanding job. Restaurants have been willing to offer signing bonuses and temporary wage increases. One McDonald’s is even paying people $50 just to interview.

Could waiving patents increase the global supply of COVID-19 vaccines?

India and South Africa have introduced a proposal to temporarily suspend patents on COVID-19 vaccines. Backers of the plan say it would increase the supply of vaccines around the world by allowing more countries to produce them. Skeptics say it’s not that simple. There’s now enough supply in the U.S that any adult who wants a shot should be able to get one soon. That reality is years away for most other countries. More than 100 countries have backed the proposal to temporarily waive COVID-19 vaccine patents. The U.S isn’t one of them, but the White House has said it’s considering the idea.

Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?

As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy begins reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.

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