Sen. Chuck Schumer proposes 2nd round of small business loans

Coronavirus

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Senator Chuck Schumer was in Rochester on Wednesday, calling for a second round of small business loans. Schumer said he wants businesses who already received the loan from the federal Paycheck Protection Program to have the chance to apply for another one.

Mark Cuddy is the creative director at Geva Theatre Center. He said while the PPP loan helped, Geva needs more.

“We have had zero ticket revenue for almost four months and will not for the next four to six months optimistically until it’s safe to welcome audiences and performers again. Even when the time comes for reopening we will be reduced in capacity to perhaps 35-40% of seats, so we cannot survive this model,” said Cuddy.

Businesses can use the PPP loan for things like rent, utilities, or insurance. If the business keeps all their employees throughout the entire duration of the loan they don’t have to pay it back; it becomes a grant. The deadline has been extended for the first round, but businesses who already received a loan are out of luck.

Senator Schumer is trying to add a second round for business owners like Kelly Bush. She owns Marshall Street Bar and Grill and Union Tavern. She is also the president of the Rochester chapter of the NYS Restaurant Association.

“We’re nearing the end of it and as soon as we use that up we have nothing else to go for and unfortunately as I think we can all agree in four weeks when our money runs out we’re not going to be at 100% capacity,” said Bush.

Schumer also said if a business applied and was turned down for the first round, it’s not too late to reapply.

“The program has been streamlined made a lot easier with many fewer criteria so please if you’ve applied and were turned down you can apply again,” Schumer said. “The mistake was when the administration let some of the big shots who really had more than 500 employees but sort of chopped them up in pieces get too much of the money.”

Schumer said they’re working to get that money that was given to larger companies back and give it to businesses with 100 employees or less. The new deadline to apply for the first round of loans is August 8.

He also said 98% of all businesses in our region employ less than 100 people.

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