PPP loans helped save local jobs, but the Band-Aid isn't healing the wound

Ed Crump Image
Thursday, August 20, 2020
PPP loans helped save local jobs but aren't enduring
PPP loans helped save local jobs but aren't enduring

MORRISVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- When the forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans were being handed out a few months ago, many who got them figured that by now we'd all be willing to venture out of our homes and get back to our normal consumer activities.

Of course that didn't happen.

Now, businesses like Babymoon Café in Morrisville which received PPP money are now struggling.

"People are in fear right now. And we want people to come here and feel comfortable dining. I just don't feel like with everything that's going on that people feel comfortable to do so at this point in time," Babymoon owner Ryan Salman said.

RELATED: Federal PPP data shows millions of dollars given without keeping jobs, but NC businesses say otherwise

Babymoon is rated the number one restaurant in Morrisville by Travel Advisor.

But the booming business is now a bust like so many other small businesses especially restaurants.

"It's very difficult to deal with. We had 42 employees and we had to cut down to three. I tried to honor my salaried employees and keep them going," Salman said.

He kept those three employees on thanks to the Paycheck Protection Program.

According to business.org, an online resource for small businesses, those three employees at Babymoon were among more than 1,200,000 jobs saved in North Carolina by PPP.

That's 11th highest in the nation even though North Carolina was 13th in the total amount of PPP money with just over $12,400,000,000 received.

At the time it was a saving grace according to Salman who said, "If we didn't have the PPP, the help from the PPP loan, we would probably have been shut down already."

But, he said, that money is quickly running out.

Although Phase2 allows 50% occupancy, Babymoon, like most restaurants, isn't seeing that kind of business.

"We're trying as hard as we can to grind it out and keep our heads above water. It's very difficult to do," Salman said, "You put 14 years of your life into a business and to feel like it's just been completely taken out from underneath you. It's just a hard thing to cope with."

He's begging people to come give his strict sanitizing and social distancing protocols a shot.

"Give us an opportunity to show you, for you to be able to come here and feel safe and enjoy our award-winning outdoor patio. Take your wife or your loved one out for a nice meal and try to get back to whatever the new normality is," he asked.