SANDY – Small businesses were preparing to apply for the second round of PPP loans Tuesday, hours ahead of when the U.S. Small Business Administration will begin accepting applications.
"We're like probably a lot of businesses," said Jesse Valdez, owner of Club 90 in Sandy. "We're now floating, but we're one big bill away from being in serious trouble."
Around dinner time Tuesday, the inside of the big building off Monroe Street looked about the way it did for much of 2020: Mostly empty and dark with only a couple of employees on the clock and a handful of customers enjoying food and drinks.
The live events side of the business has all but gone away since the start of the pandemic.
"And, of course, at that time none of us thought we'd be sitting here in the month of January, talking about it still, right?" Valdez said. "We just need vaccines. I believe it's vaccines. People start feeling comfortable to start going out again."
Valdez said they struggled to find a lender to get the first round of the Paycheck Protection Program loans. And it didn't help that "they ran out of money like fast."
They did eventually get the loan, but it only took them so far. As fewer people ventured out of their homes, Club 90's revenue dropped and Valdez was forced to cut back on workers. But other costs of renting a building and operating a business continued.
On Tuesday, Valdez came in on his day off to prepare all of the paperwork for his application for a new loan. PPP 2.0 is for small businesses with fewer than 300 employees impacted by COVID-19. It can help fund payroll and overhead costs for 2.5 months for most businesses. Lodging and restaurant businesses can get a loan of up to $2 million to cover 3.5 months of costs.
A second loan would also offer Valdez's employees something at the start of the new year that they didn't have for most of 2020 – job security.
"It's nice when we can let our employees know, don't worry about having a job tomorrow," he said.
Businesses can apply for a second PPP loan from Jan. 13 until March 31.
Like the first round of loans, this one is forgivable. According to the Small Business Administration, they've forgiven more than 1.1 million PPP loans.
"The SBA has so far received 1,346,125 forgiveness applications for approximately $170.5 billion. SBA has made payment on nearly 85% of the applications, forgiving over $100 billion," officials said.