Some Long Island small businesses still struggling to get coronavirus aid
Congress is facing pressure to do more to help businesses crippled by the coronavirus crisis, but some businesses on Long Island have been unable to receive the emergency lifeline.
This week marks the second week of the second round of federal stimulus money. Officials say more than half of the $310 billion that was set aside for small businesses is gone, and many believe the rest will be gobbled up over the next few days.
There are still many businesses that haven't gotten anything, and there's still a lot of criticism against the nation's largest banks who critics say catered to larger businesses. In fact, several lawsuits have been filed against Chase and Bank of America over the issue.
However, TD Bank, which has a regional headquarters in Melville, says it focused heavily on the smallest of small businesses. They say half of the loans they did went to companies with seven or fewer workers.
"A total of 82% of our loans that we made went to customers with less than 25 employees. The average number was actually 21. We did $6 billion as an organization overall. In order to do that, we actually took 6,200 of our 26,000 employees and solely dedicated them to this endeavor," says Anthony Eserino, TD Bank market president.
Steven Fusco, however, says it's getting harder for him to keep Bagel Place Cafe and Deli in Hampton Bays open. It's also getting more difficult to stay waiting for stimulus money.
"It just seems like it's having a hard time trickling down to the people that really should be getting it," says Fusco. "I'm going to go crazy if I read one more time that a McDonald's or Harvard or somebody else got $10 million."
Meanwhile, Golden Pear Cafe owner Keith Davis says he applied for federal money through his local Chase branch. Over the following week, he says the bank asked him three different times to either change or resubmit his application. By that time, there was no money left.
In the second round, Davis did get money, but only after switching to a small community bank based in Idaho.
"I'm thinking to myself, if I've got 90,000 other applications with Chase, there's no way I'm getting any money," says Davis. "Tuesday morning I got an email from these guys out in Idaho, 'Keith you're in. You're in the system, everything's been approved by the SBA.' I got my money Friday night."
Over the weekend, White House officials said the administration may think about a third round of business loans, but there's no decision yet on that.