Small business federal aid to open Friday

Coronavirus

The “Paycheck Protection Program” is part of the relief measures to help small business owners affected by the coronavirus pay employees and other expenses, but a restaurant partner finds the aid is not the fix to all the challenges they are facing.

The owners of a small business may begin applying for federal relief on April 3, Nick Prioletti partner of Liko’s Tap and Table in Hawaii Kai said he is looking into the federal aid as a way to re-open his doors.

“We probably had to lay off about maybe 50 employees,” Prioletti said. “I don’t know if it’s a perfect solution, but I know it is a start since this came out all of the partners have been studying all of the movements and all of the packages.”

Businesses all over the state are cutting back on worker’s hours and some are evening closing.

Prioletti said like any government funding, there is plenty of administrative paperwork to complete and he is working with his bank to get through it, although he has not seen hefty requirements to apply.

He said, “I will say they have been a little more forgiving where if they are going to release the money to you they are not going to do a hefty credit check, there are no heavy requirements.”

The President of CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, Sherry Menor-McNamara, has seen businesses interested in the federal aid, she said there is an opportunity for this loan to become a grant.

Menor-McNamara said, “It will start off as a loan but if they keep their employees on payroll until the end of June then their loan will be forgiven.”

The chamber of commerce is also calling for the state to bring forward immediate aid to help businesses and workers.  

“Even though federal money is coming in, we need state relief as well,” Said Menor McNamara. “That’s why we started a petition to push the administration to provide some immediate relief for local businesses.”

As for Prioletti, he said he will require efforts from the business community on top of governmental aid to get back to business.

“To see something come out is great, but we don’t know if that’s going to be enough,” Prioletti said. “I think the vendors, distributors, landlords, need to also come together yes you got some government aid but we understand that’s not the cure-all.”

More information on the “Payroll Protection Program” can be found on this link.

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