GREENSBORO, N.C. — Help is on the way. Starting Monday, all banks will have access to the second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans.
It’s another chance for relief for struggling small businesses.
But there are some changes this time around, to both the loan amounts and who will qualify.
Restaurants and hotels will automatically be eligible to receive a loan of over three times their total payroll amount.
Here’s the catch: second time applicants have to show documentation of where the first round of funding went, and that they’ve had at least a 25% decline in revenue.
“We finished the year roughly below 30% what we had done in 2019,” said Mary Speaker, owner of Salvino Cucina Italiana in Greensboro.
“We are 40% down in terms of numbers from last year,” said Ginah Soufia, owner of Wall Street Deli and Catering.
The losses for restaurants in the city are considerable.
“We’re keeping our head above water and our door open, so that’s pretty much all we can ask for,” added Speaker.
It’s something she and her husband, Thomas, aren’t taking for granted.
They took over Salvino Cucina Italiana just five months before the pandemic shut them down.
They depended heavily on the first round of PPP loans.
“It helped us pay our staff and to keep them working,” said Speaker.
They haven’t had to lay off a single member of their 15 person staff.
But after almost a year, Speaker knew they would have to apply for the second round of loans.
“We’ve talked to our banker about it. He’s going to put us on the list,” she explained. “With us being at 50% capacity, the curbside has helped us, but you’re still pinching pennies to make sure you can physically make payroll every two weeks.”
That’s the same reason why Soufia is applying for her second round of loans: to keep her employees at Wall Street Deli and Catering.
“It’s really crucial. I mean anything helps. Anything,” she said. “They all have families to support.”
Soufia said business already tends to slow down in the winter months, so the PPP loans couldn’t have come at a better time.
“Especially for the local businesses. The large corporations have much deeper pockets. Their pockets are extremely deep,” she said. “Local businesses and restaurants, like us, not so much.”
The restaurant has been at the same location on West Friendly Avenue for 21 years.
With these new round of loans, and local support, Soufia hopes they’ll be able to stay.
“The amount of word-of-mouth business that we’re getting from this community is just astounding and heartwarming,” she added.
Anyone with questions on how to apply for the PPP loans should contact the bank that helped them the first time around, or head to the Small Business Association’s website.