The head of the United States Small Business Administration was in San Diego Friday where she visited three small businesses to discuss how effective federal loans proved to be.
Jovita Carranza spoke with the owner of The Knotstop in Bankers Hill about how effective federal loans proved to be for his business and what he anticipates as he prepares for a potential spike in the virus during the winter.
The Knotstop is a day spa and has been in business for 14 years. Owner Adam Shevel said he received loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, known as PPP, and from the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.
Shevel said he was able to pay bills when the business had to close in March due to the pandemic. He was able to rehire employees when it could reopen in June, and three weeks later, when businesses could only operate outside, he was able to turn a parking lot into an outdoor space to give massages.
“I don't know what would have happened honestly without giving us that cushion to be able to pay some of our bills. If we weren't able to get other loans ...we probably wouldn’t be talking right now,” Shevel said.
Carranza said she wanted to visit San Diego because it is a vibrant, diverse community between Los Angeles and Mexico. Fifty-five thousand small businesses in San Diego and Imperial Counties took PPP loans for a total of $6 billion.
“We don’t look at these small businesses as loan transactions. We look at them as an entity, as employees, and those employees have families who contribute to the local economy," Carranza said.
She acknowledged many small businesses will need another round of PPP as the winter months bring the potential for an increase in coronavirus cases.
“When you have 31 small businesses at risk when there’s another spike of coronavirus, everyone is worried about sustaining the small business market."
Democrats and Republicans in Congress are still debating over another stimulus package.
Carranza also toured VetPowered, a manufacturing company with a veteran and wounded warrior workforce, and she went to Balboa park, where she spoke with workers at the Prado Restaurant and at the Museum of Man.