Mom-and-pop businesses hope to get a piece of latest stimulus aid package

The federal government considers any company with as many as 500 employees a "small business." That covers 99% of the businesses in the U.S.

News 12 Staff

Apr 24, 2020, 5:16 PM

Updated 1,452 days ago

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Small businesses on Long Island that didn't get any money from the federal government's first round of stimulus aid are hoping to get a piece of the latest aid package.
The federal government considers any company with as many as 500 employees a "small business." That covers 99% of the businesses in the U.S.
Lots of smaller mom-and-pop operations with 10 or 20 employees are demanding that a chunk of federal money be set aside specifically for them.
News 12 spoke with Rita Winkler, the owner of Vines and Branches – a specialty store that sells olive oil. She says she was able to get a $3,000 loan.
"I actually did feel a little guilty, quite honestly, about getting it and other people who I know need it as much and didn't get it…I'm grateful — very grateful," says WInkler.
Winkler's shop is just her, along with a few seasonal employees.
"My line of credit is tapped out from the winter months, my credit cards are tapped out. So it was a blessing," she says.
Andy Harbin, owner of a downtown Greenpoint restaurant, is also crossing his fingers for some help this time.
"90% of all small businesses in the country employ 20 people or less. So you have 90% of the small businesses trying to get money to feed their families, and you got a big business with 450 employees who have lawyers that are being paid for one job -- and that's to get that stimulus money when it comes out," says Harbin.
Another company fortunate to get federal money was North Ferry Company, which takes people between Greenpoint and Shelter Island. They say the payroll money they got was vital, and was thanks in part to BNB Bank.
Even though their trips are down more than 40%, they say maintaining the service is a must, since boating is the only way on or off the island.
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