Small Businesses Need Feds To Pass New $310 Billion COVID-19 Relief Deal To Stay Afloat

Congress is trying to pass a $310 billion deal to help small businesses stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.

Small Businesses Need Feds To Pass New $310 Billion COVID-19 Relief Deal To Stay Afloat

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – Congress is trying to reach a deal to help small businesses stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. If approved, the new package would provide $310 billion to fund small business loans.

The Paycheck Protection Program through the Small Business Administration was introduced at the end of March to provided needed funds to businesses to keep paying their employees and prevent layoffs. More than 4 million small businesses applied for the loans at the beginning of the month, but last week, the program ran out of money. Now many small businesses don’t know what to do except wait and hope the program is funded once again.

“Hey there! How are you?” Terry Fredricks calls out as she’s greeting one of her regular customers. She owns one of the largest Togo’s Sandwich stores in the state. She says her sales are down more than 80% due to the current shelter in place order. She says the take out orders are basically a break even.

“All it is is enough to pay my three people that are working and the food that I’m buying to sell to my customers,” says Fredricks.

That’s why she applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan the first day it opened, but her loan was never approved. In just in two weeks, all $350 billion was gone. All of the money was allocated to other businesses.

“I was only looking for $63,000. That’s peanuts compared to what some of these bigger companies are getting,” she says.

According to SEC filings, the Ruth’s Chris steakhouse chain got $20 million, Potbelly Sandwich Shop received $10 million, and Shake Shack was originally granted $10 million, but decided to give it back after backlash from small business advocates. At least 70 publicly traded companies received money as part of the small business loan program.

“It’s super frustrating that they’re helping out the big companies who make more money daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, than a small guy like me,” says Fredricks.

That’s why she says if the program does get funded again, there needs to be a different process for deciding who gets the loan.

“I would like to see them first offer it to the smaller companies that absolutely can’t survive,” say says. “There’s no money. I’m not having a paycheck. I didn’t pay my rent this month. I didn’t pay my PG&E.”

The Senate Could vote on another aid package as soon as Tuesday, which means the bill would be into the House by Wednesday. There is bipartisan support in Congress to ask the Treasury to change the rules around the PPP loans to ensure smaller businesses get first access.

Watchdog groups are also questioning where the money is going. California has received the fewest PPP loans per-capita of any state.

Terry Fredricks says of the 150 Togo’s franchise owners who applied for loans, not a single one was funded.

Source : CBS San Francisco More   

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Seasonal Allergy Sufferers ‘Hyper-Aware’ Of Every Symptom Since COVID-19 Outbreak

It is once again that time of year when people's seasonal allergies tend to flare up which is even more worrisome amid the current coronavirus outbreak.

Seasonal Allergy Sufferers ‘Hyper-Aware’ Of Every Symptom Since COVID-19 Outbreak

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – It is once again that time of year when people’s seasonal allergies tend to flare up which is even more worrisome amid the current coronavirus outbreak.

“When you go outside, you feel like the air is contaminated. Like every breath you take you wonder, ‘Is that a breath that just brought this virus into my body?'” says Charles Kane.

Kane is a life-long allergy sufferer. He says he’s hyper-aware of their health during the outbreak and often questions if common allergy symptoms might instead be related to the virus.

“It is hard to tell the difference sometimes. You do get scared anytime you cough or sneeze and it’s out of the ordinary. But if my eyes start itching then I know it’s allergies,” says Kane.

Doctors say while they might share a few symptoms, fever, muscle ache and chills are generally symptoms more commonly associated with a flu or coronavirus than seasonal allergies.

“Asthma that is not well controlled can be a major risk factor,” says Dr. James Wolfe with Allergy & Asthma Associates of Northern California.

That’s a concern for Kane’s nine-year-old son Adonis who suffers from asthma. Adonis’ mother says she’s not taking any chances with her son’s health and has been strictly following guidelines about social distancing.

“He knows why we’re staying home and why we’re not outside playing. We’re not going to visit family either,” says Christine Rennie.

Dr. Wolfe says patients with mild to moderate allergies should not be at greater risk for coronavirus. But he urges his patients whose asthma is not well-controlled to contact their doctors.

“This is a time when someone with asthma if they’re coughing and wheezing, they need to be seen right away. If they’re not taking their medicine as prescribed, they need to do that,” says Dr. Wolfe.

“Asthma that is well controlled is not a risk factor for developing COVID-19. But asthma that’s poorly controlled can be a major risk fact

Source : CBS San Francisco More   

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