Hard times for small business owners

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Jeff Garnett is proud of his tattoos and has made a business of it – not by putting on tattoos but by taking them off. “As a customer, I started dealing with tattoo removal and I just hated everything about it,” he said.

In 2012, he and his wife opened a laser tattoo removal business with Clean Slate Laser, and soon expanded to six locations with eight employees in the New York region.

Then the virus struck. “I kept the employees on as long as possible, but then it came to a point where I just told them, ‘Look, we have to let you go temporarily,'” said Garnett.

Dr. Veronique Baptiste Germaine founded her eye care business Visionique Family Eye Care 17 years ago. “We are known as a primary care worker, but they asked us to postpone routine care and only deal with urgent cases,” she said.

Your office is now only open for limited hours on Saturdays. that means part-time work for two of their employees and vacation for the other two.

Dr. Germaine said, “They understand that nothing comes in and I can’t see any patients, so it will be difficult for me to pay them. And they also understand that I have to pay rent.”

At The Nurtury, a group of six Montessori daycare centers in Florida and New York, they grew from 150 to just six students. They keep a center open for children from key workers such as nurses and doctors.

Co-owner Brianna Banahan said they are still paying their 47 employees.

“Our goal was to keep them on the payroll and to work from home as much as possible,” said Banahan. “And many of them help us create online learning for infants, toddlers, and ages three to six, which is a challenge in itself.”

Closure of a business due to a corona virus.

CBS News


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, just over half of all American employees (52.4%) are employed in small businesses (companies with 500 or fewer employees).

“None of these small businesses had an unexpected health crisis on their radar,” said Elissa Bard, vice president of Community Capital New York, a nonprofit that helps small businesses get funding. “They have no emergency plans for disasters; they have no plan B.”

Jill Schlesinger, Business Analyst at CBS News, asked Bard, “What do you need right now?”

“You really need immediate access to capital. You can’t wait weeks or months for funding to reach your bank account because you have to pay bills today.” [or] yesterday, [and] Employees to stay on their payroll when they can. “

Many anticipate $ 350 billion in small business administration loans that are part of the $ 2.2 trillion CARES Act. With demand increasing, lawmakers are working to add another $ 250 billion to the program.

“It is absolutely critical,” said Dr. Germaine. “I don’t see many companies that survive without this help. The problem is, how far will this help go? Because the money will go very quickly. Sometimes it’s just two months’ rent.”

The government offers $ 10,000 catastrophe loans that are directly provided by the Small Business Administration. There is also the paycheck protection program that helps companies retain workers and pay additional expenses such as rent and utilities that can be awarded. To access this money, the owners have to go through banks.

So far, this has been a frustrating process for many employers.

Brianna Banahan said, “We haven’t heard of this application process yet, and then the second option is the loan to protect payroll so we couldn’t even apply for it.”

“I turned to my bank and they basically sent an email saying they didn’t really have anything in place yet,” said Dr. Germaine. “You have not received any instructions.”

“CBS Sunday Morning” contacted the SBA for the traffic jam. They were unwilling to bring an officer to explain.

The need is urgent: According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 24% of the country’s small businesses say they will close permanently within two months without a financial lifeline.

Dr. Germaine speaks to many who are going through difficult times: “I hope I can keep it open. But you know there is a lot of uncertainty there. So it is disturbing, you know, because I really don’t.” I dont know. “


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Story produced by Alan Golds. Editor: Ed Givnish.


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