Coronavirus: Small businesses struggle to get government loans

Across the country, thousands of small businesses are closed amid the coronavirus pandemic. They have no money coming in.

"All of our clients closed up and our business went to zero," says Bob Hayden.

Hayden and his wife own a design company in Riverside. He was hoping the Paycheck Protection Plan, or PPP, which was passed by congress, would give him money to stay afloat. But he's been struggling to apply for the loan.

"There's no indication as to what criteria they're using to evaluate who gets the money. They said first come, first serve, but there is no means of holding them accountable to this," says Hayden.

Justin Ha from Truelender.com says, "It's a very dire situation for these small businesses."

Ha works with small businesses and is trying to help get these loans. The problem is many banks are concentrating on larger businesses that have long-term relationships.

"Companies with 25 or less employees that are just struggling to get by are having a huge difficulty in being able to process these loans," says Ha.

But even companies with banking relationships are having trouble.

Barry Weiss, who owns several Mathnasium franchises, was trying to apply on Friday.

"So we could keep up with the rent payments pay our employees, pay our utilities," says Weiss.

Weiss says on Friday, his lender Wells Fargo wasn't accepting applications. Then he checked back on Monday.

"I found a nice note from Wells Fargo saying we opened it Saturday, closed it Saturday and all the $10 billion we had is gone."

Congress knows there have been problems and is working to add more money to the program. It is considering an additional $250 billion.
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