Our weekend watch shines: a spotlight on government activity. Fighting to stay afloat became a mission for small businesses across the nation. The government created a program to assist, but have black owners gotten their fair share. You can read more about this story right now from the watchdog group, better government association and here to talk more about the issue from the bga is olivia obinome good morning. It’S so nice to talk to you thanks so much for joining us on the saturday morning.
Thanks for having me okay, so this is called the paycheck protection program and you spoke to four small business owners and non-profit leaders about the process. What did they tell you about their experience? Yeah? Well, the experiences varied um. You know based on their organizations, but all together they didn’t really get as much as they needed, but used what they had to do.
What primarily the ppp uh funding was meant for, which is to use for payroll. So these owners were able to uh pay what they could to their uh employees that were on payroll and then also you know they found some some issues in the communication of uh getting ready to apply for ppp, so they had to rely on their accountants, which Luckily, all of them had to help them apply to the ppp funding and get it done and get qualified. So do the the feelings of the business owners that you spoke to compare with any studies that are out there on this paycheck protection program and how helpful it actually was yeah, i the essentially you know when it started uh last year april, around this time, um Early studies showed that there were gaps in the data, so we couldn’t really tell you know who was getting what and you know if it was actually dispos disproportionate. However, you know some of the studies, including from the national community reinvestment coalition and even from the center of public integrity, showed that black and latinx uh small businesses were not getting the same amount of service and funding than their white counterparts. It’S almost like very minimal.
12 uh about – and there was more than one round of that correct and did any of that change in the in the second round yeah. So it’s still disproportionate. It’S still a lot of black owned brown-owned businesses not getting as much as their white counterparts, um and again with the miscommunication, with the issues of trying to figure out if they need to talk with their banks. Big banks versus small banks. Uh issues also came up as well.
There’S a lot in the the program that i think a lot of the business owners that we talk to still hope, get fixed and provide a more streamlined service for them. Well, and so, if there’s going to be more to come, can folks still apply for these paycheck protection programs and the funding that might come from them? Yes, so the first and second draws of pp funding uh, they do end up may 31st, so you have until may 31st to get your applications and whether it’s your first time or your second time of getting funding or wanting to get funding they. The government also is providing, i believe, as of april 22nd, provided additional funding, but it’s more targeted towards spaces like restaurants and and entertainment, and because there is money, that’s still available and we have not yet gotten to that. May 31st deadline.
What kind of tips can you offer to people who who might be looking to get more money or still apply for that money? Yeah? So you know we were able to work with awesome, weekly news and our catchlight local fellow um julia song, who interviewed these four businesses and they shared hey, get an accountant make sure you are paying your employees legally so have staff on payroll. Other things, like you know, seek out information. If you don’t understand what you’re looking at in terms of the application or even the sba.
ov website, ask folks ask friends who may have connects to accountants or even utilize, places like the black uh, the blackhawks, commerce or other organizations that can serve small businesses. Certainly always helpful to ask for more answers if you’re not getting the word, yes ask for more answers and seek out support and we have more tips and links on our site that people can look at perfect. Thank you so much for joining us and for explaining some of that to us. You can read more about the bga articles at bettergov.org.
We’Re also posting a link on our website. Abc7Chicago.Com it’ll be available on the abc 7 chicago news, app as well. Hey, if you like that video be sure to subscribe to our abc7 chicago youtube, channel