Small Businesses Struggle to Stay Open During Coronavirus, Despite Promises from Congress

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Small businesses are not only struggling to navigate the economic shutdown forced by the coronavirus; they are also in the bureaucratic morass of Washington.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, April 10, 2020 / — The process of attempting to get an emergency loan through the administration's Paycheck Protection Program, which launched Friday, has been a stressful mess.

Small business owners are not only struggling to navigate an unprecedented economic shutdown forced by the coronavirus; they are also knee-deep in the bureaucratic morass of what is meant to be Washington’s rescue effort.

The $349 billion programs to provide forgivable loans to smaller businesses has been beset by a technically buggy rollout and mounting concerns that its funds will run dry long before reaching many that are counting on its help.

The nation's biggest banks have already committed 10 percent of the total, by reports. Bank of America alone said Monday it has received 178,000 applications seeking $32.9 billion.

Major glitches with the processing system for the program are adding another layer of headaches. Reuters’s Pete Schroeder and Michelle Price report that “U.S. lenders were unable to process loan applications for hours on Monday after the SBA’s online portal crashed around midday. A senior administration official denied the SBA system had crashed and said the agency continued to process loans and add lenders.”

Borrowers are encountering problems online, too. Michael Witte, chief financial officer for a 67-employee company in Bowie, Md., that manages office furniture installations, says he had to fill out an online application with Sandy Springs Bank eight times before he successfully submitted it.

President Trump bristled at a question about the program’s rocky rollout Monday but indicated he would support giving it more funding. “We're going to have to probably add more money to this to save and to keep our small businesses going and to keep the employees of those small businesses working,” Trump said. He made a similar commitment via Twitter over the weekend.

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Source: EIN Presswire