Small Business Relief

San Diego Businesses React to SBA's Funds Running Dry

The $350 billion in the Small Business Administration's emergency coronavirus relief fund has already run out and now Congress and the White House are scrambling to get an additional $310 billion added to the program.

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The $350 billion in the Small Business Administration's emergency coronavirus relief fund has already run out and now Congress and the White House are scrambling to get an additional $310 billion added to the program.

Over the weekend, reports surfaced that chains like Ruth's Chris Steak House and Shake Shack received millions of dollars in federal funding aid and now San Diego small business owners want to know where they stand.

Amelia Finnigan has worked for years to own her own business and last June she was able to open the doors of Eye Candy Lash Studio in Point Loma, but now it's been closed for more than a month because of the stay-at-home order.

"It's pretty unsettling not knowing when this is going to end or when I'm going to be able to start my operations again," Finnigan said.

She isn't losing hope. She's applied for three loans, including the federal government's Payroll Protection Program, and three grants.

She has yet to hear back from any of them and says now hearing that chains like Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Ruth's Chris Steak House and Shake Shack received $40 million from the PPP over the weekend was discouraging.

"I also feel like a business like that has a lot more resources than a business like me and for them to be the first ones to receive payment and such a large payment is really discouraging," she said.

San Diego leaders say they know small businesses need help, but they don't know exactly where that relief might come from.

"I know that a lot of the banks are continuing to take applications so that when new money comes in they can just slide in line, so that's our hope," said Jerry Sanders, President of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors will meet Tuesday to discuss a $5 million relief plan for small businesses that could provide loans of up to $50,000 to qualifying businesses that have fewer than 50 employees in unincorporated areas.

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