Billions of dollars in federal aid available to help small businesses, is it enough?

Coronavirus

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The Small Business Administration reported they still had $130 million in loans available for small business across the country.

Gregg Thompson, state director at the National Federation of Independent Businesses said help was slow to come at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For a state, the 10th most populous state with over 900,000 small businesses, it should have been much higher in the first round,” said Thompson.

The second round might have come too late for businesses that rely on tourism.

“A lot of (businesses) will not survive. A lot of the restaurants will not survive. Just driving around sometimes you can see stores they’ve already closed up because they just couldn’t survive,” said Thompson.

That’s since turned around. Thompson says 93% of business owners in the state who applied for loans under the federal CARES Act are approved.

“It’s going to be a long time before the state and the nation recovers from this because we’re still in this,” he said.

The latest report from the SBA listed more than 33,000 applications approved under the Paycheck Protection Program for North Carolina small businesses. It totals more than $2 billion in aid.

Business are eligible for advance loans under the Emergency Injury Disaster Loan. More than 82,000 of those applications are approved so far. They were worth close to $283 million.

N.C. among states with most EIDL(PPP) Loans

The list below features states with the most approved Economic Injury Disaster Loans according to the latest SBA report.

STATEAPPROVEDDOLLARS
California230,447$ 17,170,378,818
Florida130,780$ 7,920,351,885
Texas112,510$ 7,683,155,707
New York97,240$ 7,009,417,740
Georgia51,488$ 3,208,444,605
New Jersey44,723$ 3,261,491,339
Illinois42,279$ 2,962,186,350
Pennsylvania37,994$ 2,514,800,983
North Carolina33,292$ 2,117,604,612
Michigan30,259$ 2,067,502,572
Washington30,000$ 2,165,559,099
SBA: June 12, 2020 report

N.C among states with most EIDL Advance Loan amount

StateApprovedDollars
California486,318$1,574,085,000
Florida320,186$974,997,000
Texas262,802$910,351,000
New York247,704$777,662,000
Georgia125,691$397,231,000
Illinois114,674$412,016,000
Pennsylvania105,199$351,470,000
New Jersey105,200$352,304,000
North Carolina82,847$282,917,000
Ohio75,489$261,775,000
SBA: June 12, 2020 report

The state has introduced the North Carolina COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program and individual counties have funded financial support programs for local businesses as well.

But, those dollars can only go so far.

“The money from the governments, the loans and the grants from the counties will most certainly not be enough so they got to get businesses reopened, they got to get consumers coming in,” Thompson said.

While there is money available for small businesses, the dollars have to be used within a specific time frame for specific purposes. If a business owner doesn’t know how long they will be closed, it makes the decision to take the money tricky.

Businesses ask themselves — do you take the money and risk not falling within the loan guidelines or do you not apply and risk losing your business?

Thompsons said the failure of a small business has a trickle down and trickle-up effect.

“You look at your hometown weekly newspaper and the graduation section. It’s all small adds from the local small business owners and when they’re closed, they don’t have the money to do that. That impacts the newspapers. There’s so many facets to how it has impacted the economy and people’s lives,” said Thompson.

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