DENVER (CBS4) – It was a program designed to help small businesses, but many say the rules are too strict. Relief for business owners who took advantage of the federal Paycheck Protection Program may be coming next week after the House of Representatives nearly unanimously passed a bill to give more flexibility.
“Oh my God, I mean, we needed to have operating money,” said Gail Lindley who runs the Denver Bookbinding Company. “We’ve got good staff and nobody else knows how to do what we do. It’s important to take care of the people that take care of you.”
Lindley says DBC applied and quickly received PPP money, but soon realized adhering to the rules so the loan can be forgiven was going to be difficult. Particularly using 75% of the money on payroll within eight weeks.
The House bill extends the time the PPP money can be used and when it needs to be paid back.
“I’m just really grateful that finally somebody is applying some common sense to it. Because you have some industries that aren’t even open yet. You want to respect the funds that you got and use it to the best of your ability and make it last as long as you can,” Lindley said.
Restaurants have been particularly hard hit by the PPP strict rules because they haven’t been able to hire back enough staff or even open to enough business where the program can be beneficial.
Every member of Colorado’s congressional delegation voted to approve the measure. It moves on to the Senate where it will likely be taken up next week.
Lindley is hoping to keep the DBC in her family for at least one more generation, but she says the company wouldn’t reach its 92nd birthday this summer if it wasn’t for the loan program.
“We haven’t used all the money yet. With this change, that’s going to help a lot. It’ll make our ability to budget a lot more fluid because then we’re out thinking we need to use ‘X’ amount of dollars in two weeks,” she said.