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Coronavirus Pushes Small Businesses To ‘Make Or Break’ Point Waiting On Stimulus Loans

By Meghan Ottolini Boston Herald

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Even with a second round of funding on the way, some small businesses have given up on getting a loan from the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program.

Boston

While Harvard University and Shake Shack restaurants return millions of dollars in coronavirus stimulus cash meant for small businesses, many local entrepreneurs around Boston say they haven't seen a cent from the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program.

"It's a joke. We need to assume we're not getting this, and figure out how we're going to restaff ourselves," said small business owner Megan Flynn.

Flynn and her sister Moria Flynn Riordan co-own and operate South End jewelry shop M. Flynn. They're among many small business entrepreneurs who rushed to apply for a modest loan from the Paycheck Protection Program to cover their payroll during the shutdown.

But like so many others in the city, they've heard radio silence from their bank.

"We were asking for $37,000, which out of $349 billion, is literally like a fraction -- not even -- it's a rounding error," said Katharine Requa, who co-owns Seaport shop For Now.

Requa and the Flynns both applied for loans through Bank of America as soon as they became available. Requa said after going through several different banks, she heard nothing about her application until the news broke that program's money had run out.

Meanwhile, Harvard University, with its $40 billion endowment, was offered some $9 million in stimulus money, and burger chain Shake Shack returned $10 million the feds leant it.

"It's a huge blow. So many of us are in small business for the passion of it. We're providing a service for our neighbors, we're doing it for our communities," said Hadley Douglas, owner of South End wine shop The Urban Grape.

Douglas said she was notified that she received her PPP loan Sunday, but didn't receive it until Wednesday evening.

Accepting the loan when a business can't make any profit might be another impending storm, Douglas said, if business owners are unable to pay it back.

But businesspeople like Requa said the funding is critical to staying afloat through the rest of the shutdown. Congress approved a second round of loans, and she's applying again.

"It's make or break," she said.

Other business owners have already moved on, looking for another way forward.

"We're not going to get bailed out the way that we had hoped," said Flynn Riordan. ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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