While millions of American small businesses have been desperately in need of some relief during the coronavirus lockdown and shelter-at-home orders, Democrats dragged their feet on replenishing the Paycheck Protection Program, an SBA loan to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus crisis.
House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for the delay in providing additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, which distributes small-business loans, the Washington Examiner reported. “Name me one productive thing Speaker Pelosi has accomplished in this pandemic. When President Trump, on Jan. 31, put in the ban from China, Feb. 24, she asked people to gather together in San Francisco. She actually fought the ban. When we wanted to put the CARES Act together, she came in, held it up. Now, we had a small-business program working. She’s now held up the money.”
One small business owner in Pelosi’s backyard in Marin County has been dipping heavily into his personal savings account to keep 25+ employees at his two restaurants employed. Prior to the shutdown, “Hien” said he and his wife had double-digit growth every year since they opened their restaurants in 2015.
“We had to work for years to save enough money to open the restaurants,” Hien said.
He and his wife are naturalized citizens who have been in the United States for 30 years.
“We wish the government would just leave it to the people – they know what to do if they are ill,” Hien said. “They stay home. And as a restaurant owner, we also know how to operate with health restrictions. The governor did not need to shut us down.”
“Many business owners are having a hard time,” he said. Hien said while he and his wife have been depleting their savings to continue to pay rent, insurance and their two dozen+ employees, they applied for a SBA loan, but have heard nothing. Hien said one of their banks, Wells Fargo, “abandoned its clients.”
“We’ve got no SBA, no disaster grant, and we are U.S. citizens.” He said it was wrong of Gov. Gavin Newsom to give taxpayer money to illegal aliens when legal citizens with businesses are hurting and closing their doors. “Why is the government helping illegal aliens?”
“It’s hard for business owners,” Hien said. “We’ve been abandoned by banks, and are in this position because government forced us to close.” Hien said they didn’t lay their employees off, but did have to cut some hours.
Hien said he understands the protestors. “People are protesting their right to go back to work, peacefully and safely. I want the press and media to put pressure on the Governor and Legislature,” Hien said. “We are losing so much money, week after week while government employees are staying home on paid vacation.”
“It’s a lot of sacrifice to build a business.”
Some Relief on the Way
The Paycheck Protection Program provided some much needed relief for small businesses in California and across the country who shuttered their doors on lockdown orders from governors. After 12 days of games and an outcry of anger and frustration from small business owners across the country, Democrats finally decided Tuesday to join Sen. Mitch McConnell in reaching a bipartisan agreement to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program with an additional $320 billion.
Prior to Tuesday’s deal, McCarthy asked, ““How many more millions of Pelosi’s layoffs will we have to endure before she will put people before politics?”