(CBS4)– The Small Business Administration says it has now approved more than $10.5 billion in loans for more than 88,000 small businesses in Colorado. But, some of the hardest hit businesses say the Paycheck Protection Program is not helping them.
The loans are only forgiven if they go to payroll and they need to be spent – or paid back – in 8 weeks.
Carver Brewing Company in Durango and Glenwood Canyon Brewing company both got loans.
“But the sad part of the story is, we’re not using them. They’re not really designed to be used by businesses that are highly effected by virus,” says brewpub owner Jim Carver.
He furloughed his workers and won’t fully reopen for months. Still, bills are piling up. He lost $60,000 in food alone when the two pubs closed.
“We’ve drawn a line of credit to the tune of about $150,000 for each brewpub,” said Carver.
Desperate, Carver wrote a letter to Sen. Michael Bennet, who wrote a bill that incorporates Carver’s concerns. The legislation gives owners more flexibility in how they spend the money and twice the time to pay it back. It also expands loans to mid-sized businesses that have lost 25% of their revenue because of the coronavirus closure.
“We recognize there are some very large companies out there that have been clobbered by COVID and they employ a lot of people,” said Bennet. “This is great example of a bill that’s directly the result of the common sense of Colorado small business owners.”
He hopes the bill, which includes low-interest loans with a 7-year payback in addition to the loan forgiveness program, will be included in the next relief package Congress passes.
Carver says it can’t come soon enough, “Without it we simply will see large numbers of businesses not reopen,” said Carver.