Payroll Protection Program runs dry, leaving local small business owners scrambling

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BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — The program to help small businesses in crisis because of the pandemic is already broke. The $349 billion Payroll Protection Program dried up in less than two weeks. 
 
And as stay-at-home orders have been extended into early May in both Kansas and Missouri, many local small business owners are left wondering how they’ll make ends meet.
 
“It makes my stomach turn, knowing the people that actually need this funding can’t get it,” said Bryan Goodson, co-owner of Home Tech Handyman Services.
 
“We have six children. The income from our company keeps them fed and a roof over our heads and food on the table, but the money has stopped because of the COVID-19 outbreak,” he added. “I figured if I abide by the rules and the laws the government has put in place, I would at least get approved for the loan.”.
 
Their initial application was returned, requesting more information, and now Goodson fears with no funding, it may be too late.
 
He’s called both his bank and the Small Business Administration about the nearly $40,000 they requested. 
 
“It goes straight to an automated service that says if you have this problem, email this email. If you have this problem, email this email,” he said. “And when you send those emails out, you are flipping a coin. Is it going to be a day, week, month? When am I going to hear back from an email?”
 
President Donald Trump tweeted, asking Congress to up funding for the program. Missouri’s governor is calling on the feds to get in gear, saying Missouri will have its own problems just trying to fund unemployment.
 
“The frustrating part is we’ll get by. We’ll just have to cut other agencies or cut other funding,” Gov. Mike Parson said. “But the reality is we were hoping the federal governments gets off their — moves forward on their process to getting some of the money done and getting some of that relief.”
 
“Small business owners here in Missouri are on the brink of disaster. Many have been forced to shut their doors. They feel like lawmakers have let them down. The most disadvantaged small business owners have applied for help from the federal government and many are in limbo. They haven’t heard back about the status of their Paycheck Protection Program loans,” said Brad Jones, NFIB State Director in Missouri. “I’m urging our Missouri Congressional leaders to prioritize Missouri small business and pump more funding into the Paycheck Protection Program right now.”
 
Goodson said any new money needs more oversight to make sure it’s really going to businesses that need it right now. Banks have approved more than $1 million in loans, but few have released details on how much of that money has actually been disbursed.
 
According to a survey by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 43% of small business owners say they’ll shutdown permanently in less than six months without government assistance. 

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