Paycheck Protection Program

Pause on Relief Loans Feels Like ‘Gut Punch' to Small Business Owners

NBCUniversal, Inc.

On Thursday morning, a Small Business Administration (SBA) representative confirmed to NBC 7 Investigates it is no longer approving loans or lenders for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

The PPP is a forgivable loan designed to encourage small to midsize companies to keep their workers on payroll through June. The $2 trillion CARES Act allocated nearly $350 billion to the forgivable loans through the SBA, but the agency ran out of cash in less than two weeks.

The owner of a Carlsbad restaurant who applied for the forgivable loan but is still waiting for the money, said the news feels like "a gut punch."

“It was shocking,” said Alex Kleinman, who owns Bantam’s Roost Public House in Carlsbad.

He applied for the PPP loan through Wells Fargo on Wednesday. On Thursday he received an email telling him his loan application may not get approved.

“I thought once we submitted the application we were in the clear,” Kleinman said. “And once you get that back, it’s kind of a gut punch."

Kleinman said the dine-in eating ban has slashed revenue by more than 80%.

“We can’t last like this forever,” said Kleinman, who is now holding out hope his application made the cutoff.

“A lot of people have had to stop their gym memberships,” explained Laura Rogers, owner of Fury Functional Fitness in Clairemont. “So you lose people."

Her gym has been closed for roughly a month.

"People should really care about what's happening to small businesses,” she said. “Small businesses are being hugely affected and it's really scary to think how many small businesses are not going to make it out of this."

Like Kleinman, she too applied for the PPP loan.

"It's kinda scary when you're hoping the whole time the government is going to be our safety net,” said Rogers. “All of these small businesses are going to be suffering, and then you see these little glimpses of a safety net, and then they just disappear."

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