Small businesses in South Florida frustrated with loan program
PALM BEACH COUNTY, Florida – Small business owners in South Florida continue to be frustrated with loan programs meant to help them cope with the downturn in the economy from the coronavirus.
Business owners said they were trying to get a loan through the Paycheque Protection Program, which is “designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their employees on the payroll.”
About $ 349 billion was available for small businesses with 500 or fewer employees.
Bulldog Fence Company in Delray Beach and Footprints Preschool at Lighthouse Point are both bordered by Wells Fargo.
Mary Shea of Bulldog Fence said Wells Fargo never gave her the opportunity to apply for the P3. She said she filled out the basic information online and was told to go apply elsewhere in an email response.
“Thank you for your interest, we invite you to apply to other SBA lenders as we know the money is running out,” Shea said.
Bonnie Rubin of Footprints Preschool said she received the same message. She said she had been in contact with Wells Fargo for two weeks and finally completed an application on Wednesday.
“I finally filled my DPI, but I’m still in the queue so that doesn’t mean I’m getting anything,” Rubin said.
The two business owners said it was upsetting after learning on Thursday that the PPP had reached its loan limit of $ 349 billion.
Shea said she felt like she missed a loan because Wells Fargo didn’t help any small business.
“If you were with a small community bank, you were a winner,” Shea said. “We are being left out because Wells Fargo failed us.”
An agreement must be reached between Republicans and Democrats at a legislative meeting Thursday to bail out the loan program, according to a CNN report.
“I will never do business with a big bank again and never find myself in this position. I thought being with a big bank was safer,” said Shea.
Wells Fargo issued the following statement regarding the Paycheck Protection Program on Thursday:
“We are doing everything we can to help our small business clients through these difficult and uncertain times. Over the past week, we’ve engaged hundreds of Wells Fargo employees and launched new automation and technology to handle the extremely high volume of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications. Today, the SBA announced that the $ 349 billion congressional funding for the P3 has been fully allocated to thousands of participating lenders, including Wells Fargo. We will continue to prepare applications in our existing pipeline of small and medium businesses and submit them to the SBA when funds become available. Given the scale of the crisis the country is facing, we hope Congress will approve additional funds for the PfP and we will continue to accept new requests so that we are ready to proceed if and when it does. We are ready to help the hundreds of thousands of customers who are waiting for this much needed support in these unprecedented times. ”
Assistant Vice-President, Corporate Communications
South and Central Florida Region
UPDATE: The SBA has announced that it has run out of funds for PPP loans. We hope to receive additional funds from Congress, so we continue to take and prepare nominations for submission to the SBA. Learn more:
– Wells Fargo (@WellsFargo) April 16, 2020