Raleigh small business owners run into problems applying for federal Paycheck Protection Program

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Programs are now being made available to small businesses to stop the bleeding during the pandemic.

Two loan programs were launched Friday.

One is the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, and it's designed to keep employees on the payroll instead of the unemployment line.

Any money used to rehire employees under PPP is forgiven.

"I said get this stuff to the bank ASAP," said Clyde Cooper's Barbeque owner Debbie Holt, who had to 12 workers go during the crisis for safety concerns. "I'm not using it (the money) for mortgage or lights or electricity. I solely want it for my employees."

Businesses with less than 500 employees can apply for PPP money.

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Some confusion seemed to persist about the PPP loan. ABC11 found a sign posted at the Bank of America in Cameron Village instructing business leaders that they must first apply online for the loan. Then they bring their online application information into the bank for processing.

The North Carolina-based financial institution is one of the few major banks accepting applications right now and the response has been overwhelming.

A spokesperson says the company received 10,000 applications within the first hour of business and more than 35,000 applications by noon.

Other banks weren't ready to process the PPP loans.

Wells Fargo announced it would be unable to accept applications Friday. Unfortunately for Sherif Foud, owner of Raleigh Raw, that's where he does business.

"They (the federal government) kind of jumped the gun. It was kind of like a false start," he said.

His online application is filled out, but until Wells Fargo is ready to process it, he is stuck waiting and hoping the PPP money does not run out.

"The devastation just for the previous for two weeks, for restaurants at least, you can't recover from. I'm very hopeful and optimistic that those loans are going to come through," said Fouad.

The second loan program launched Friday is the Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.

Recipients can get $10,000 within three days of filing and that you don't have to pay that back.
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