coronavirus

‘They Shot Me Down’: Frustration Mounts on 1st Day of Small Business Loan Applications

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It's day one of the application process for loans, and many small business owners are frustrated.

Jamie Kaye, owner of the Station Diner in Newton is one of many who reported already having trouble getting in on the Small Business Administration's loan offer.

"People need money and they shot me down," said Kaye, owner of The Station Diner in Newton. "I went to my bank, my bank said, 'We don't do SBA loans."

Kaye tried searching elsewhere, but he hit more dead ends.

"I called the smaller banks in the neighborhood, who know me, 'Can you do this for me?'" he said. "'No. We're processing for our existing customers.'"

The federal government is making almost $350 billion available for small businesses that are suffering because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The funds can be used for payroll and overhead like rent.

The loans would be forgiven if employers can show the money was used for the appropriate reasons.

Banks are handling the application process.

"Obviously, there's a bit of a rush to get these applications in, because the faster you can get the money, the longer you can keep your business open," said Michael Armstrong, financial advisor with Armstrong Advisory Group in Needham.

He says it will take time for banks to be fully ready to deal with the onslaught of applications.

"My expectation is that once banks get through the initial glut of applications for existing clients, they'll open up the process to others," Armstrong said.

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