PPP loans offer minimal support to restaurants

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by Meghan Wayland

Few sectors of the economy have been worse hit by COVID-19 than bars and restaurants, but federal aid to help small businesses weather the pandemic largely doesn’t work for them.

In late April, the U.S. Small Business Administration topped off the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), with another $310-billion in emergency funds.  The program provides forgivable loans up to $10-million to small businesses (the cap is two and a half months total operating costs), but the eight-week window for spending PPP funding doesn’t line up with state safety regulations that have shuttered bars and restaurants since mid-March, and some businesses — like the Jay Village Inn — are running out of time to spend funding.

“We have to spend 75 percent on wages, 25 percent on everything else, but we only have eight weeks to do it and the state has mandated that we stay closed,” David Cooper said in a phone interview Sunday

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