Small businesses await next round of PPP loans – NBC Connecticut
“On a Saturday night, when we usually have 200 dinners, we have 30,” said Donna Curran, owner of Zinc Restaurant in New Haven.
She is one of the small business owners who says the downtown area is quiet. Busy sidewalks slowed down and so did customers.
“Well, it’s been slow. There’s really no way to water it down. Our business has declined steadily by 50% or more since mid-March, ”said Tom Maloney, owner of Raggs for Men and Women. “I hope the customers who pushed me through will stay with me because I feel like 2021 will be better for our store, better for New Haven and better for everyone. “
The new $ 900 billion stimulus bill before Congress could help. In the package, $ 300 billion is earmarked for another round of PPP loans. Maloney is considering applying.
“Now that I’ve gone through the first PPP program, I think the second will be a bit smoother,” said Maloney.
New Haven University economics professor John Rosen said the bill covers many areas, including direct payments to the public.
“The biggest are those three: checks, businesses, and unemployment,” Rosen said.
The checks are $ 600 for Americans and there is an extra $ 300 a week for UI to take them out of work.
Curran has faced a tough layoff decision this year and is hopeful the package can help those in need, including those she’s been able to keep on the payroll.
“We’ve gone from a workforce of 30 to a core workforce of maybe 15, most of which work part-time,” Curran said. “We had a bit of a rush when we dined al fresco, but after that closure we mainly existed on take out and family meals and packages that we put together for the holidays.”
The bill also includes $ 10 billion for child care assistance, $ 13 billion for food banks and SNAP benefits, and $ 25 billion in rent assistance.
“As with all of these things, I encourage everyone to apply for anything you think you qualify for,” Rosen said. “It won’t solve all of your problems, but it will help you pay your rent, pay your employees if you are a small entrepreneur. “
Beyond individual benefits, the bill gives cities and towns a boost with a one-year extension to spend CARES law funds and $ 77 billion for public schools and colleges.
Rosen expects there may be another bill under the Biden administration, and then the discussion could turn to reimbursement for the 2020 coronavirus support.
“I would expect people to say ‘we have to start paying off some of this debt,’ and the bills in two and three years will be increased tax bills.”