WASHINGTON DC – Right after the US Senate passed a bill that makes sweeping changes to the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Senator Chris Coons says he wants to add more funds to it.

Senator Chris Coons

This time around, Coons said he wanted the latest round of funding to prioritize smaller companies with a staggered application window first. In theory, this would put companies with 10 or fewer employees in the first week, companies with 50 or fewer employees in the second week, and so on.

“The smaller businesses that have suffered the greatest loss of revenue are the ones that I wanted to make sure they could get another round of P3s,” he said.

The senator spent the afternoon of June 3 in a webinar with Delaware business leaders as they discussed their successes and challenges with the program. With the reopening of the state, many participants were concerned about the coming year.

The radical changes made by the Senate to PPP included the extension of the period during which the loan can be used to 24 weeks; terms of no forgiveness from two to five years; give businesses more time to rehire; and more. It also extended the 25% cap on non-salary expenses, such as rent, mortgage interest and utilities, to 40% of the total loan amount.

Leroy Tice, a lawyer from Wilmington, said his long-standing relationship with TD Bank helped his personal injury business get the SBA money it needed. But many in his own circle have not been as successful, he said. Even so, the future of his business for the next year is uncertain, as no new clients have been registered in the past few weeks.

“To be blunt, I would expect us to fight for a year, a year and a half because the cases weren’t ongoing. SBA the loan forgiveness options were fine with me in that I could keep my job, ”Tice said.

Autumn Arch Brewery owner Jimmy Vennard said the PPP money helped since the company took out a seven-year loan. But when his brewery was prevented from serving in the tap room, 80% of incoming revenue dried up.

“It was a recognition of the fragility of our small businesses,” he said. “We have changed our can-and-take-out model, but if we do that in a year, it won’t be good for the longevity of businesses. “

Parthiban Jayaraman, owner of the Greene Turtle in Dover and seven Dunkin ‘Donuts in New Castle County, said SBA funding was a lifeline, but faster reopening and customer comfort would go be essential for moving forward.

“On the darkest day we had to let 140 people go and now 60% are back,” Jayaraman said. “We need to set up restaurants so that people feel safe. The slow ramp-up in sales and the amount of our debt will determine whether we can survive in the long term or not. “

With the postponement of elective surgeries, Dr Fady Gerges said Green Clinics Laboratory activity fell to 5% and layoffs also occurred, but SBA funding saved him from paying around thousands of dollars. overhead.

“Companies are still suffering, but we have recovered from employers who require staff to test negative,” said Gerges.

– Katie Tabeling

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