Today’s ADP National Report highlights the tremendous need around the country. With jobs losses reaching over 20 million between March and April, business owners are looking for ways to stay afloat and continue to provide for their employees and communities. While federal programs like the Paycheck Protection Program are a start, there is broad consensus among business owners that more needs to be done. America’s Recovery Fund would be the solution – opening up additional support and liquidity after weeks of mandated lockdown and an uncertain future.
Below is just a sample of what business owners across the country are saying about the need for more congressional action and funding resources on this front. If you’d like to learn more about America’s Recovery Fund Coalition, the Fund, or how it will support businesses, employees, and state and local governments at the frontlines of our economy, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
What They Are Saying: Business Owners Need More Help From Congress To Recover
“The economic carnage caused by the coronavirus outbreak has torn through Michigan Maple’s already slim profit margins and made it impossible to continue as a viable business, company President Ann Dau Conway said in a letter to staff. ‘My family has operated Michigan Maple Block through many adverse economic time periods including two world wars, the Great Depression, and multiple recessions. I am saddened that the mounting challenges the business faces today have compelled us to close the Company,’ she wrote.” (Bloomberg Businessweek, 5/6/20)
“‘The PPP program is helping a lot of businesses, but the selection process is inherently flawed. The government should have given banks better guidance, and perhaps separate tranches of capital, for small businesses versus mid-size and very large companies,’ says Eric Lochtefeld, co-founder of Bliss Champions, a small business incubator in Silicon Valley and the owner of over a dozen small businesses. He was unable to raise PPP financing but was able to get $24,000 in EIDL loans for six of his businesses that generated millions prior to the economic shutdown.” (CNBC, 5/4/20)
“‘’This job is not safe and I can’t send them back out. … I know them and I cannot say go gamble with your life. This job is not worth dying for,’ [Aaron Seyedian, the founder of Well-Paid Maids] said. ‘‘I have no interest in opening and closing again,’ Seyedian said. ‘There are costs, almost similar to like when we started as a business. To be in operation for a few months just sets up another costly reopening,’ he said.” (CNBC, 5/4/20)
“Small businesses like ours, let alone those with fewer resources, should receive funds from the Payment Protection Program as quickly and efficiently as possible. To prevent graft by large corporations and banks, oversight needs to be strengthened. And the rules of the game must be changed to allow the hard-earned taxpayer dollars to restart the economy and support people’s lives, as it was intended. The future of our business is unclear, and we are only just beginning to learn of the long-term social and economic impacts that the coronavirus will have on Detroit. If the terms of the Payment Protection Program change, it will be easier for us to make our way through this crisis and get back to the business of helping rebuild the city that we love.” (New York Times, 4/28/20)
“Rosen said PPP loans are a ‘lifeline’ for all small businesses. But it is particularly important for restaurants, which often are month-to-month businesses, he contended. ‘It is costly to restart a restaurant after being closed for weeks or months,’ Rosen said. ‘Besides the human capital and the working capital required just to populate a kitchen with food, we’re like reopening again once we get the green light to do so,’ he said. But it’s not clear when that green light is going to arrive, Rosen said. If it takes until the end of June, the loan ‘would be wasted because we’d be closed after we used up that money,’ he contended.” (CNBC, 4/14/20)
“I haven’t received a thing, I haven’t heard a thing, I haven’t talked to anybody and the program’s done,’ salon owner Chris Goslin told NBC Connecticut. Goslin said she’s been in the hairstyling business for almost two decades and owns a small shoreline salon. Just two stylists, and herself. ‘I’m exactly what I think a small business is. I’m not looking for free money, I’m looking for help.’” (NBC Connecticut, 4/17/20)
“Meghan Masten of Meg’s Electric Beach Tanning in Dover said the pandemic struck right in the heart of their mid-to-late spring, which is their busiest time of year. ‘Our tanning season is going to come to an end pretty soon. Our business is a $150,000 a year season, and 90% of our money is made in those two months, and if we don’t open soon, we’re not going to be able to open at all.’” (WDEL, 4/29/20)
“‘We were within just a couple of weeks of being caught up and finally, maybe showing a profit in such a short time, and got knocked right on our butts, right in our tracks,’ owner Tammy Drake said. ‘It’s slow. It’s bad.’ Like so many others nationwide, Drake tried to apply for the paycheck protection program, a federal small business loan set up to help keep businesses open and paying their employees. ‘I went online to get my packet ready and found out that Bank of America was only processing the loans for business customers who currently had a line of business credit with them, which I do not have a line of credit. We used every penny we had to open this place,’ Drake said.” (Action News Jax, 4/20/20)
“Buxbaum’s business is now only doing about 10-15% of the what it normally does, he said. ‘The loss is gonna be in the hundreds of thousands and that’s just cause we’re a sports bar,’ Buxbaum said. For his business at least, Buxbaum said there’s no way to make that money back. While that won’t hurt in the short term, it’s the long-term consequence that keeps him up at night. ‘There are days. I’m not gonna lie these last few weeks have been a rollercoaster,’ Buxbaum said. ‘I go five days trying to stay optimistic not just for your family, customers and your staff, but then you do lay awake at night and say, ‘Where is this going?’” (Delmarva Now, 4/13/20)
“‘One of the biggest things that businesses count on is certainty and, I think, right now there’s no level of certainty for what the revenues are going to be for this quarter,’ Tarrant ‘When are we going to be able to reopen? What is the plan and what does that look like? …I think hearing some of those things out of the state capitol would be helpful.’ He added, ‘Paycheck Protection, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, those are great programs that are going to provide a Band-Aid to the problem, but the solution is people getting back to work.’” (MLive, 4/26/20)
“Texas small-business owners interviewed by The Texas Tribune described the process as evolving and confusing. Now that the fund is depleted, it is existentially terrifying. ‘You are flying solo. … It’s basically beating on the door,’ said Tamara Morton Johnson, a chemical engineer with a small business tied to the oil and gas industry in Houston. ‘Each bank has its own rules and its own guidance.’” (Texas Tribune, 4/26/20)
“While payroll protection funding will help pay her 14 employees this month, Rose Molz, president and co-owner of EZ Office Products, said she will use her $1,500 county grant to purchase nitrile gloves and hand sanitizer, the main products her company is selling right now. Molz had requested $11,000 — a fraction of the $250,000 she needs — after using $10,000 of her own savings. ‘I’ve never asked for money before,’ she said.” (Wisconsin State Journal, 4/27/20)
“Phil Fonzen, owner of Premiere Tech Shop in Milwaukee, had a similar experience. While he’s still in business, his wife’s Middleton barber shop, Bluejay Barbering, was forced to close, and Fonzen said their bank wasn’t offering paycheck protection loans. After being turned down by local banks, Fonzen turned to PayPal’s online Loanbuilder app but wasn’t able to log in on Wednesday. ‘‘We need the loan, as a family,’ he said. ‘We’re going to start hemorrhaging money pretty soon.’ (Wisconsin State Journal, 4/27/20)