TOPLINE: As of April 14th at 1:00PM, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) approved over $250 billion worth of loans to over one million small businesses. Yet this program is expected to run out of funding this week. Democrats cannot keep funding for this program hostage any longer and must agree to a clean, standalone renewed funding bill.
PPP BY THE NUMBERS (APRIL 14 AT 1:00PM):
Loans approved: 1 million+ (1,101,118)
Dollars approved: $250 billion+ ($257,406,926,461)
Lenders: 4,700+ (4,721)
Everyone agrees this program is working for American small businesses. Alarmingly, the Small Business Administration (SBA) expects funding for the PPP to run out this week. If funding runs out, American small businesses will remember that Democrats held this funding hostage as a political ploy to secure other unrelated provisions. For the sake of our communities, Democrats must agree to a clean, simple funding bill for the PPP now.
Small businesses across America continue to benefit from PPP loans. These stories from small business owners, courtesy of the Small Business Administration, show how these loans are critical to keeping paychecks flowing to employees throughout the course of this virus:
- Scott and Julie Alderink, who just received approval for a PPP loan for Boom’s Restaurant, in Wagner, South Dakota, shared how this loan will keep the restaurant afloat and employees on the payroll:
“Family-owned business for 30-something years. Small town, we typically employ 12-16 employees, most are part-time, the business has supported my wife and I and our four kids. Three weeks ago our sales went down quite a bit. We chose to close the dining room and to go strictly to take out or our drive-up window. When we closed the dining room, that takes away 1-2 staff. So we had to cut hours. First time using SBA. It’ll put them [employees] back on. At least I can have them employed and doing something. My wife and I have been working 12-14 hours a day. For the fulltime employees, their hours have been cut in half. I don’t believe we could have continued to remain open. I’m very grateful, it’s going to encourage people, give them a bit of hope. We also pastor a local church here, so trying to do all that too is tough.”
- Norland International, a manufacturer of bottled water and craft brewing equipment in Lincoln, Nebraska, employs 136 people. Mike McFarland, the owner of Norland International, just secured approval for a PPP loan:
“You call it the ‘Paycheck Protection Program,’ we call it the ‘Business Lifesaver Program’ here. This has been a godsend to us — and I mean that literally. We were already discussing salary cuts, limiting employees’ hours; my partners and I have requested lines of credit (also Mike’s house and retirement were on the line). It’s a huge deal for us. The vast majority of the funds will be to pay those 136 employees. We were running tight, it was a huge concern for us – how are we going to pay them? You look in the eyes of those 136 employees and think holy smokes, it’s not just them, it’s also the families they support. Thankfully we’ll be able to use the “Business Lifesaver Program” to make payroll. We’ve had preliminary conversations with them [employees] about this Business Lifesaver Program and they’re thanking us for keeping them working. [Speaking about a particular manager who oversees the bottled water equipment:] It’s so heartwarming knowing how much his job means to him and his paycheck. It means so much to me. Prior to the SBA coming up with this program, I was thinking what the heck are we going to do? Sleepless nights. When you’re responsible for the 136 employees and their families, I was thinking what are we going to do? It’s devastating when you personally know those employees and their families.”
- Penelope Antonelli runs the only woman-owned Sharp office equipment dealer in the state of Washington. Digital Imaging Solutions, her company in Spokane which has nine employees, recently received approval for a PPP loan:
“The first thing we noticed [re: COVID] was an increase in calls, people were frantic to get themselves situated in home offices. Our technical side increased – all our technicians were helping IT technicians; we didn’t charge anybody for that. I knew we would still be working because of prisons and banks (their clients who maintain essential services). I had the hard conversation with employees – I have $30,000 in the bank and I told them I’d spend every last dime making sure they had income to support their families. [Now, with PPP loan] Jna and her three kids have peace of mind knowing they have an income coming in. [Before CARES Act passed] Every time the President came on talking about the aid package, I was glued to the TV taking notes. So I was ready to go, I was at the starting line. [PPP loan] will help to ensure that I keep my promise to my employees; so they can continue working and I can continue paying them. I’ll keep them on full wages for the next 60 days and stretch it out as long as I can. We all shared joyously in the news. I personally called every one of them and said I don’t have the money in the bank yet, but the application has been accepted. A huge relief for everybody.”
- Parker Harvey PLC, a law firm in Traverse City, Michigan, has ten attorneys and six staff. Pete Boyles, managing partner, says the firm just received approval for a PPP loan, which he describes as a “huge relief”:
“We’re a relatively new firm; we’d been part of a large firm for many years and then the large firm closed its Traverse City office a couple years ago. We have 10 attorneys and 6 staff – we don’t want to ever lay anyone off. Everybody empties the coffers at the end of the year, so we go into this first quarter kind of cash poor – we were kind of limping into this and then we get hit by COVID-19. On March 3rd, governor did lockdown. We’re on our third week of everybody working remotely. Our revenue will be down; it’ll catch up to us in May. Once CARES Act was passed and the SBA program, we were scrambling to find a lender. Great news! [approved by lender] though we don’t have the funds yet. But I’m not losing sleep over that. This is a huge relief. I’m confident at some point in the next few weeks that money will be in our account and we’re not going to lay off anyone. We’ll pay our payroll, rent, and utilities. The SBA loan gave us the peace of mind to honor our commitments to our staff and concentrate on serving our clients and not fretting over short-term finances. We’re committed to our workers – they make a good living, especially for a small town like Traverse City.”
- The Kansas City Zoo has 200 full-time employees and around 245 part-time employees. After closing the zoo to the public due to coronavirus concerns, revenue has plummeted. The zoo sought a PPP loan to keep staff employed to take care of the animals. Randy Wisthoff, Executive Director, says of their recent approval:
“Obviously, [we’re facing] a pretty good-sized deficit. So when we heard about the SBA program, oh my gosh, this may be an opportunity for us that really nobody saw coming and more of a godsend for a lot of us zoos. [What this PPP loan means:] I can keep fully staffed in my critical departments – my animal care team, my veterinary team, my facilities team – and I can let my employees know that. Those are the critical departments in running a zoo. And the rest of the departments we had working from home and now we’re trying to shift them to other areas that we need help in the zoo. It’ll give us the ability to do that and then having the loan forgiven is an unbelievable component also. You don’t have to worry about now we’ve got the loan and the most important part is how you’re going to pay it back, especially when your revenue stream is gone. It’s just going to allow us to keep our employees working and keep the zoo operational and we’re fully looking forward to the day we can reopen to the public again.”
BOTTOM LINE: PPP is working. Funds are running out. Democrats are the only thing standing between small businesses and getting the help they need.