Small business owners were looking for a lifeline. It appeared as if they had received one when the Small Business Administration announced the Paycheck Protection Program. From the SBA’s website:
“The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.
SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating in the program.
Lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as April 3, 2020. The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.”
What they didn’t say was that lenders could stop applications at any time which is what Wells Fargo did two days after announcing their application was available online. TWO DAYS.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU
So if you didn’t apply on April 4th or 5th, you are seemingly out of luck for this program, at least through Wells Fargo. Small business owners know not to rely on other people to help them out. It’s what makes them start a business in the first place; a sense of independence, the willingness to do it on their own. But even during a national crisis, small business owners are now faced with relying on themselves now more than ever. The message from the government is always “We’re here to help.” But the reality is clear. No one is coming to save you.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Contact your local representatives and let them know your specific business situation.
Email the James City County Board of Supervisors: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email Christopher Johnson, Director of Economic Development for James City County: Christopher.Johnson@jamescitycountyva.gov
Get your plans in order to ride out the storm on your own or you will be left at the dock with no boat, no home, and a 60 foot wave headed your way.