ARVADA, Colo. (KDVR) — Small business owners who were unable to obtain an emergency loan from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in early April are hoping for better luck this time around.
The $349 billion program exhausted all of its funds in just 13 days. On Thursday, the U.S. House is expected to approve a new package already passed by the Senate that would replenish the PPP with $310 billion.
“Fingers are crossed,” said Joshua Heston. He owns H&S Property Maintenance and despite applying on the first day of the program last time, was told all the funds had been exhausted before his loan was approved.
“It seems to me the companies that had the resources got the money and the people left out are who really need it,” he said.
Heston was steamed to learn many small business loans went to giant restaurant chains.
The corporate owner of Ruth’s Chris Steak House received $10 million in loans. Potbelly Sandwich Shops received $10 million. Shake Shack returned its $10 million loan responding to public outcry.
“I hope that they see how the bad publicity that the other guys got from this last time, that it keeps everybody honest,” said Heston.
The Arvada resident said he applied for a $150,000 loan. Without it, Heston fears he may have to furlough some of his 11 employees.
“If I don’t get something in the next two weeks, I’m going to have start different lines of credit or whatever I can do,” he said.
Rep. Jason Crow, a Democrat who represents some Denver suburbs, told the FOX31 Problem Solvers he’s been urging his fellow lawmakers for the past week to add funding to the PPP to help small business owners.
“This isn’t a week or two week issue. They are sitting on bills right now, sitting on their desk that need to be paid at the end of last month,” Crow said.
Crow acknowledged companies with more than 500 employees can still apply for emergency funds but said this time, $60 billion was set aside for small community banks and credit unions who generally serve local businesses.
“The intent was to make sure that small businesses get that money because they’re the ones that need it the most, that can’t float themselves nine, 10 or 11 months at a time,” Crow said.