Money still available for small businesses through federal program

Posted at 7:24 PM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 20:24:39-04

MILWAUKEE — Although small businesses in Wisconsin have received nearly $10 billion in funding through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), officials say there is still money available.

"There are plenty of other small businesses out there that certainly can be helped," said Rob Scott, Regional Administrator for the Small Business Administration (SBA). "There is still money available. I'd highly encourage business owners to go to a local lender."

PPP funds are forgivable loans meant to pay employees who are unable to work because of COVID-19. Scott says that if 75 percent of the funding is used to pay employees, the loan will be forgiven.

As of May 10th, Wisconsin has received nearly 77,513 loan applications worth $10,103,034,914 in total, averaging $130,339.88 per business.

However, Baccanera, a wine bar on the East Side, says that they haven't received their funds even though they've already been approved.

"It's always cutting it close," said Taylor Layton, President of Baccanera. "We were cutting it close to begin with but we have a little gas left in the tank, but not much."

Layton's bar was forced to close after being open for 11 months because of COVID-19. His business missed out on the first round of PPP funding.

Now, they're operating as a wine and spirits shop of sorts. Customers can order bottles of their favorite beverage online to pick up at the curbside of the wine bar near North & Oakland.

Layton says that the makeshift business ideas are holding them over but it can't be a long term solution. The PPP money is necessary for them to stay afloat.

"We're right at $11,000," Layton said. "That's all we're asking to cover our payroll. It would make us viable again. It would save us. It really would. It would allow us to not only have peace of mind but allow our employees to wake up, knowing they can pay their bills."

Layton has heard about the process for receiving funding from other business owners. It takes about 14 days from being approved to receiving funds. When they come through, he'll be able to bring back his six employees.

A crucial step towards being ready when restrictions are eased at places like Baccanera.

"The goal is, keep the employees on the payroll," Scott said. "Keep them in the fold with the business so when that business is able to open up the doors, they hit the ground running. You don't need to re-hire employees. You don't need to re-train."

Here's the Rebound Rundown:

  • There is still PPP money available
  • If approved, businesses must use 75 percent of the money to pay their employees.
  • It must be used by June 30, otherwise any excess money would need to be returned to lenders.

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