Today Congressman Steve Scalise, sent an email asking for our story to share if you have not received assistance from the PPP program because congress is fighting with each to make additional personal agendas happen. I'm sharing it with you in case it actually never gets to Steve. This is my response:
I am self-employed and the only employee so, my income varies from month to month. I completed the online link the day Steve Scalise released it and started to see problems immediately. When I got to the pdf area online there was no SUBMIT, CONTINUE or NEXT button to hit. After reading further on the web site it stated how to find a PPP certified lender which I did. Fidelity sent me the link to upload the files and the waiting began. Within the 2 weeks of waiting, I was kicked out of the system showing no record of me filling out the link provided and now I'm on a waiting list for the PPP to be instated again.
Let me be clear! I am a pro photographer of 25 years and every contracted event such as weddings, convention work,etc., was suddenly canceled or postponed! These are the jobs that pay my bills and hundreds of other industry peers like myself and we are devastated.
The PPP would pay for business rent, insurance for the 2 months of lockdown.
I am now 2 months behind on these payments trying to explain my struggles and failures in our system.
My home mortgage company wants a balloon payment in 3 months and every bill sitting on my kitchen counter is now a guessing game on who gets paid first.
Where are the CLEAR DIRECT LINKS for truly small businesses to complete without stress or worry if the application was even truly submitted? Why are businesses like Ruth's Chris who was awarded 20 million dollars, in the same small business field that has less than 10 employees like myself and hundreds of event & hospitality industry business owners like myself, who haven't received a single penny!
I applied to the unemployment, disaster relief, food stamp, and PPP and NOBODY has followed up! The disfunction is obvious and needs to be resolved immediately!
WHY? WHY are we hunting for help and answers on Facebook groups? WHO is guiding us for the direct assistance we really need?
WHY are ANY AGENDAS in congress even ALLOWED????? This is about HUMANITY and SURVIVAL right now. The president should be able to mandate all companies we deal with for living expenses to be deferred without consequence. WHY are the SBA and banks profiting at all? We don't need more debt we need HELP!
WHY aren't we being offered a federal loan directly from the government without any involvement of the banks, SBA or credit card companies making money on us Americans. For those of us who finally paid down our credit cards or got out of the dark hole of debt, even 2.5% is a debt we DO NOT WANT!
SOLUTIONS: If the federal government would offer direct loans of certain dollar amounts, say $50,000 with a 15-20 year payback at 0% unless otherwise stated, I would be able to pay rent, mortgage, insurance and employees without the continued stress and worry we have right now. This chaos needs to STOP!
New Orleans, small business owners know how to work hard and we DO NOT rely on broken government systems for assistance. We do not want handouts nor a pity party. We want to work. We love what we do and at the end of the day, we ARE NEW ORLEANS!
Have you forgotten how New Orleans bounced back from Hurricane Katrina?
We small businesses took on the responsibility of helping each other. We advertised our great city and we accepted the hard road ahead. We prevailed TOGETHER!
This COVID-19 Pandemic is way worse than Katrina! I was able to fly to Canada, Montgomery, Portland, etc. to fulfill my wedding clients' contracts during the Katrina aftermath. The government is holding us, hostage, through one single item...MONEY.
We are exhausted from "SIDES" even being a thing in congress. The black flag needs to be raised on Capital Hill, sides need to cease and the ONLY AGENDA needs to be solving the problems we currently are living. How in God's name are we going to be ready for the next world disaster if we cannot adjust faster to the present one we are living?
American Tax Payer and self-proclaimed New Orleans Small Business Ambassador- George Kuchler