Baraboo business owners still waiting for Paycheck Protection Program loan
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is getting another boost from the government, but there are still small businesses owners across the country and in waiting for their funds.
Stuart Koehler and Julie Hearley are two of those business owners. The fiancés have owned and operated the Ringling House Bed and Breakfast in Baraboo since July 2015.
"You just kind of have to cross your fingers and hope that you're one of the people who got approved, I guess," Koehler said.
Koehler is referring to his and Hearley’s struggle when applying for a PPP loan.
Earlier this month, the US government approved $349 billion for the loan program to assist struggling small businesses nation-wide during the covid-19 pandemic.
It assists business owners in paying employee wages, rent, mortgage interest and utilities for 8 weeks.
The loan is worth about 2 ½ times whatever the payroll costs for employees. If the business owner uses at least 75% of that money to pay his or her employees, then the owner does not have to pay that loan back at all.
If the business owner does not cross that threshold of 75% in paying employees, then they have a grace period of six months, before paying the loan back.
What sounded like a dream come true for Koehler and Hearley, ended before it began.
“We were rushing around trying to get our documents together to make it in before the money runs out and guess what? Hearley said. “The money ran out," Koehler answered.
Those government funds ran out in less than two weeks. The program aims to assist businesses with fewer than 500 employees. However, there was controversy, when some larger organizations and multi-state franchises, were still able to qualify for the PPP based on their individual locations.
"Because it was opened to anybody in the first round, those customers of bigger banks go their money a lot faster," Executive Director of the Sauk County Development Corporation Ed White said.
Starting Monday, an additional $310 billion dollars are available through the PPP. But this time, there are regulations to make sure the money is equally distributed.
"This time, they did set aside $30 billion for small banks, and they set aside about $30 billion for medium sized banks," White said.
Koehler and Hearley said they have been approved for the loan, but they need to see the money soon if they're going to stay in business.
"We’re really dependent on this bridged loan to get us through the next month or two, before business comes back," Koehler said.
White also told NBC15 News that the first time around, Wisconsin was actually one of the top ten states for money received from the PPP. The state’s businesses took in about $8.3 billion from more than 43,000 loans.