Joe Biden is trying to help the smallest businesses with his new plan for PPP [Opinion]

On Monday, Joe Biden, our 46th President, announced his plan to put the smallest businesses, those with 20 or fewer employees, first in line for a new round of Payroll Protection Program (PPP) funding. It’s about time.

Small business makes up almost half of the jobs for American workers. For many small business owners President Biden’s announcement was welcome news.

Like any federal or state government programs, applicants for these modest funds will have to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s to qualify for funding.

The rule changes allowing for small business owners with 20 or fewer employees will be the only employers allowed  o apply for funding for two weeks.

The Pay Check Protection Program has helped many small businesses since the pandemic began. However, funds were in short supply as many of the larger companies got funding first.

The lack of PPP funds for the smaller employers, combined with the COVID shutdowns ordered by governors and county and city officials, resulted in so many businesses closing their doors and declaring bankruptcy. So many jobs have been lost and businesses broken by these rules.

The restaurant industry remains devastated by rules and regulations promulgated by state, county, and city rules. While some officials are easing restrictions for dining in restaurants, others still require a 75%  reduction in the eateries’ seating capacity.

The Health Department bureaucracy does not always understand what it takes to create a business. So, let’s recap just what it takes for a man or woman to open a restaurant.

Fees for permit to build a restaurant can reach $150,000 of more. Business owners understand time is money. Some staffers reviewing plans think a business owner is rich and exorbitant fees are “just the way it is and the cost of doing business.”

Then, there is a liquor license and its high cost. Environmental Health Inspectors also weigh in with more fees and more inspections. Securing a water meter may cost $10,000 (that would be a bargain) and some governments then charge mitigation (taxes) fees based on their estimates of how many people visit a restaurant. Schools get a big share of cash, too.

Then it’s time to build. Government officials, and rightfully so, monitor every aspect of your soon-to-be restaurant. That’s part of the fees you paid for already.

You decide to add a few windows and a salad bar. That’s a change order for which you will need approval. Then your builder will charge you for the new plans.

After purchasing a few hundred thousand in new equipment, tables, chairs, dishes, cutlery, and dozens of other items, you call for a final inspection and our occupancy permit.

But getting that occupancy permit is not always a slam dunk. Perhaps your contactor failed to do something correctly. Oh, no. You’re not getting a permit if the inspector doesn’t read the rule book the same way you do. Finally, you run the marathon and cross the finish line. But wait. The power company can’t energize (turn on your power) for three more weeks.

Oh, let’s not forget that small business owners aren’t professional bureaucrats and they often don’t understand how to get a project approved. So they hire a “consultant“ to get the project approved by elected officials and staff. That runs $50 thousand to $60 thousand or you strike a deal for a percent of pre-tax profit. It is a fee fee many don’t consider when looking at the cost of doing business in our states, counties, and towns.

Now your consultant engages and poof — the power is on. Now you get final inspections and your freezer is 2 degrees too warm so you still can’t open.

This is what we ask businesses to do just to offer dining to us. Then a Pandemic hits and we shut them down. Take-out only we say and then you can’t have people inside during a major sporting event …even if they wear a Maj and social distancing is respected.

Joe Biden has spent his entire life in government service. Working for the government on any level is honorable work. Ninety-five percent of your civil service employees are good people. They are your neighbors, family, and friends.

The 5 percent that thrive on making the lives of business owners miserable deserve termination or customer service training at the very least and accountability for attitude or rude and discourteous conduct.

Business incentives approved by state, regional, and city leaders are needed along with President Biden’s PPP program changes.

Small business helps regional and local government generate property taxes and sales taxes that pay the salaries and benefits for government workers.

Governments that work hand in hand with employers earn the title of  “business friendly“ or “pro business.” Those that harass, are overzealous, or rude and discourteous earn the titles of “anti business“ and other expletives that are deleted from this text.

Joe Biden is our President. He is trying to help the smallest businesses with his new plan for PPP. Let’s hope the Small Business Administration and our banks can deliver results ASAP for our small business owners and their employees sake.








Image Sources

  • Small Business: Shutterstock