SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was designed to help small businesses stay afloat and keep their employees through the coronavirus pandemic. There have been hurdles from technical difficulties to big businesses getting the money and leaving small businesses out to dry. But where it has worked has been lifechanging for those businesses.
"I was destroyed. I honestly didn't know how I would survive," Carloe Kenney told ABC10.
Kenney said she was distraught after hearing about the stay-at-home order that closed all businesses, including hers where she specializes in bridal dresses at “Carole Kenney Design.”
"It was terrifying. The week before the shutdown, the week of March 9, I had a protocol in place. I was using Lysol on everything for weeks. A year ago, by the end of March I was booked all the way through November. That whole booking season has been diminished because I haven't been able to meet with clients," she said.
Kenney’s livelihood is her business. So that means she struggled paying her own bills.
"I had to defer the mortgage, defer the car payment, defer the tuition," she shared.
After not getting any help in the first round of PPP funds from her big national bank, Kenney said she decided to apply through Golden Pacific Bank, a small community bank.
Virginia Varela, the bank’s CEO and president, said the second round of PPP funding seems to have reached its intended businesses.
"The first go-around, the average individual loan fund was about $200k. This time it's about $70k. Mnuchin came out and said we will be examining you and you will be audited because we're concerned that the money is not getting to the small businesses like Carole Kenney who needed the money," said Varela.
Kenney says it was a necessary lifeline - for now.
"It’s keeping my business afloat. I believe that I'll survive this, but nobody knows what's coming. I don't know what to expect in June and I don't know what to expect in July," Kenney worried.
If your business still needs help financially during the pandemic, PPP funds are still available as of May 15, 2020. You must be eligible to apply. If you meet certain criteria, the money will be applied as a grant instead of a loan. Click here to learn more.
Continue the conversation with Keristen on Facebook.
Read more about coronavirus from ABC10
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