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Small businesses forgotten during PPP Loan process

Man and woman's hands handing pile of cash
Posted at 5:35 PM, Jul 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-11 01:06:53-04

PHOENIX — The Paycheck Protection Program, known as PPP, was created during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a way for businesses of any size to get a forgivable loan if the money was used to keep workers employed.

This week, the U.S. Treasury Department released a list of the businesses that received those loans.

In Arizona, companies collectively received $7.2 billion in PPP loans. Doctor’s offices, full-service restaurants, and new car dealerships topped the list as having received the largest portion of loans in the state. In most cases, those loans were millions of dollars.

On the other hand, nonprofits, like churches, saw on average less than a million dollars to keep staff working through the pandemic and serving the community.

A big question has been, did the businesses who needed the help the most get it? For example, did businesses with just a few employees get the same consideration for loans as those with hundreds?

“The problem, I think what we saw was that there was a lot more weight given to the larger businesses by the bankers because, obviously, those are their bigger clients,” said Rick Murray, a board member with the Arizona Small Business Association. “I think a lot of small businesses felt like they got pushed to the back of the line just because they didn't have that clout that the larger businesses have.”

Murray says while getting loans proved challenging, it may be time for small business owners to start asking, “what’s next?”

“So, the first round of this PPP, you know, was all well and good. But now where does it take us from here?” asked Murray. “I think a lot of us small business owners are looking at, you know, am I still going to be able to weather this? ... What does this look like for the future?”

He says while financial help is still needed, learning to adapt may be most important for any business. He also stated that what worked for a business three months ago may not be what gets them through this pandemic.

“It’s really going to change how we do business forever,” said Murray.

The Let Joe Know Team is continuing to dig into the list of businesses that received PPP loans across the state and how they are really being used. Are they using the money to keep their employees working or something else?

If you are a small business owner facing these challenges, email us at Rebound@abc15.com.