CENTRAL COAST, Calif. (KION-TV) Since March 2020 with shutdowns and mask mandates, businesses have been struggling to survive.
Jonathan Seguil, owner of the “Flying Artichoke” restaurant in Salinas, said if it weren’t for the federal loans he received that year, he would have had to close completely.
“I had enough to support them for a few months while we could pay them back. After that, we would do or do something else,” Seguil commented.
But even though the restaurant is keeping its head above water financially, Seguil said he only received $25,000 in Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans to last him at most two months to pay. all of his employees and like many restaurateurs, he had to look for more variations.
Jonathan Seguil applied for a loan from the Small Business Association and was offered $100,000.
“I didn’t know it was going to be this long. So I only took $65,000 and they said to me – other friends who have restaurants – why didn’t you take out the whole loan? I told them, I don’t want to be in debt.”
Seguil is an example of how a loan can help a sole proprietorship stay in business. And even though he continues to repay it, two years later the federal loan has allowed him to pay his employees and keep his business open.
Like the flying artichoke, many businesses across the country have faced a very similar struggle since the pandemic began.
In light of this situation, last month the Biden administration announced a program supposed to help minority-owned business owners receive loans, businesses owned by people of color and Latinos, as well as companies that provide employment opportunities for Hispanics, such as Alcachofa. Voladora.
“I am very proud to announce that nearly $9 billion is now available to increase business lending to underserved communities,” U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris said at the program launch.
Biden’s Emergency Capital Investment Program — also known as ECIP — is an $8.7 billion investment in community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and minority depository institutions ( MDI) which aims to increase lending to small businesses and minority-owned businesses by low to moderate income. consumers in underserved rural, urban and Indigenous communities.
Of the nearly 200 credit unions and banks that have received these funds, 10 are in California and only three are located in Oakland and San Francisco.
We reached out to all three to see if any businesses on the Central Coast had received a loan, but only one worked with customers outside the Bay Area.
“One of our goals by the foundation that governs us is to maximize prosperity in communities of equality and inclusion,” said Beneficial State Bank Assistant Vice President Manny Barragan.
Beneficial State Bank (BSB) offers loans throughout the state of California, although its offices are located in Oakland.
However, no institution in Monterey or Santa Cruz counties has applied for a loan under this program.
This means that large counties like Monterey or Santa Cruz, which have a large percentage of minority businesses in rural areas, do not have access or visibility to these funds which have proven to be pure oxygen for businesses in economic difficulty, even though they have the BSB option.
We will not turn down an application simply because an institution, company or foundation is in an area outside of our scope,” Barragan said.
The bank has yet to receive the funds from the Treasury, but Manny says the influx of capital from the Treasury Department will help the bank make more loans and focus on its mission. He also leaves his advice to companies wishing to apply.
“The fact that they have everything in order: financial statements, taxes and business structure documents, is very important for financial institutions, because this is what they examine to see if they can receive a loan”, Manny said.
Companies are now facing a new concern: the massive contagions of the Omicron variant and the fact that fewer people can go out to consume, therefore support will be fundamental for minority companies to move forward.