Small business owners in New Jersey wait for next phase of Federal Small Business Loan

Small business owners throughout New Jersey, as well as around the country, are anxiously waiting for the next phase of a Federal Small Business Loan to help keep them afloat.

News 12 Staff

Apr 21, 2020, 2:19 PM

Updated 1,463 days ago

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Small business owners throughout New Jersey, as well as around the country, are anxiously waiting for the next phase of a Federal Small Business Loan to help keep them afloat.
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Shake Shack, which has a location at the Monmouth Rest Area, announced on social media it was returning its $10 million Personal Protection Program loan after it was able to secure additional capital needed to ensure its long-term stability.
But small businesses across the state weren't thrilled the company got that type of loan in the first place. Many are hoping lawmakers pass the next small business loan bill after the PPP ran out of money, which is meant to cover employee salaries during the coronavirus crisis.
Many of the states’ business owners say they put in their applications as soon as possible, but they were still denied. The frustration got worse after hearing some large national chains were able to get millions through the program, when small businesses were asking for a fraction of that.
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The owner of the Miss Belmar Princess and the Royal Miss Belmar employs about 25 people. As he attempts to keep his engines running, he's also simply trying to keep his business afloat after not receiving a Personal Protection Program Loan before the money ran out.
Jersey Shore Fitness Shop in Bradley Beach has 21 employees and also finds itself in bad shape after not getting PPP money.
"As soon as our bank gave us the OK to send our package, we had it totally together through our accountant, got it to him and waited, waited, waited and as you know, it just ran out," says John Niedenstein.

The owner of Bayway Catering in Elizabeth is also starving, and not just financially. He's still recovering from coronavirus, and as a full-time Newark firefighter, he is lucky to still have income.
But not getting the small business loan he needs has led to 20 of 30 employees being laid off. There is the chance he might go out of business.
"Oh absolutely," says Michael Giunta. "I'm probably about four weeks away and what I recently did was I just traded in one of my 401ks that I've been saving for 21 years on the Newark Fire Department, $80,000 of my savings just to have a cushion to try to stay afloat."
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The SBA says more than 33,000 New Jersey companies did get a loan. Congress is supposed to vote on a bill that would replenish the program as early as today. Many small business owners say they should redefine who qualifies, and currently, it's businesses with less than 500 employees.
Shake Shack leaders say they played within the rules that any restaurant chain with less than 500 employees per location could apply -- but returned the money anyway.


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