Everyone is touting Small Businesses are getting LOTS of help. But this is how it REALLY is!
The Paycheck Protection Program is not much help for the majority of “mom and pop” shops throughout the country, who are often sole proprietors or an LLC with few to no employees or mostly part-time employees. In my situation, we are an S Corp, where one owner is paid commission on his own booth sales and the other owner doesn’t get paid. Since we do not have employees, the PPP doesn’t work for us because 75% of the amount received must go towards payroll costs. The 25% on the PPP I could use toward utilities, rent and a few other costs would not have gotten me through even one month of expenses. I was hoping with the EIDL $10K advance, I may make it through two months if I was very careful.
At this time, we have been closed for one month. I have not heard from the SBA. The SBA has changed the original $10K forgivable advance to $1K per employee, making it nearly impossible for the small businesses across the country not to suffer terribly during this time.
We have many self employed vendors in our antique mall who rent space from us and we felt it was the right thing to do to waive their rent through this disaster, even though we are not receiving a waiver for our own rent.
Most small businesses will tell you: neither of the forgivable loan programs are accounting for the following:
- Monthly overhead expenses of businesses forced to shut down. These include mortgage payments, rent, utilities, commercial insurance, ongoing security, continued payments on POS software, advertising costs paid in March for ads scheduled for April, event cancellations, payments on seasonal merchandise that will sit until next year, bookkeeping and accounting fees, professional fees associated with fire alarm systems, property taxes, etc.
- Yes, small businesses want to keep their employees. Many of us have valued employees who have been with us for many years and it often takes us a long time to find people who are dependable to work for the wages we are able to pay them. But neither the PPP nor the EIDL is set up for the majority of mom and pop shops to do so, as explained above. If our employees are able to get unemployment, small businesses need help with monthly overhead to stop the financial bleeding that is occurring because of the forced shutdown. It is beyond our control that we have no income and only expenses at this time.
- In a recent MSNBC news clip on small businesses, it was stated that 54% of the nation’s economy is based on small businesses. Small businesses are your retail shops, restaurants, day cares, hairstylists, lawn care specialists, eye care centers, dentists, and so on…. Our nation has never asked these businesses to come to a sudden halt. Our entire economy is built on the backs and the sacrifices and dreams of people who often risk their entire life savings and all their time and energy into building their own version of the American Dream. It’s not only the small businesses that will be affected by this crisis, but the landlords and banks who receive rent/mortgage payments for their brick and mortar buildings, the wholesale supply businesses who sell product to them, the utility companies who provide services, the tech companies who provide apps and software, the credit card companies who make money off sales, the truck drivers who supply the businesses with their goods, and the millions of people who work either full-time or -part-time for these businesses. It’s so much more than we can even begin to imagine, and if this economy doesn’t open back up soon or if the government doesn’t provide either a solid financial relief or tax relief plan to enable these small businesses to stay in operation, I fear the consequences of this unprecedented situation will be far more dire than we can begin to fathom.
Most of the general public is concerned with either the stimulus checks or the ability to get unemployment during this time; but I find that most people have no idea how dire the circumstances are for small businesses who account for 54% of the nation’s economy. I just felt that it was my duty to speak up in the community and share my concerns about the survival of small businesses. Unless you own a small business, chances are you may not be paying attention to what little help is being made available to them. The PPP and the EIDL may be a good fit for many big small businesses, but they are offering very little to help the very small business owner. As a mall owner/small business owner who enjoys helping others realize their small business dreams with their own shops, I wanted to speak up and let everyone know that even though it appears as though small businesses are being helped, they really are not. I only hope the majority of them in our valley are able to make it through this – not only for the small businesses, but for the employees who work in those small ‘mom and pop’ shops!