Brooklyn Barber hopes new PPP guidelines are a lifeline


NEW YORK – Everyone knows the owner of Headrush Barbershop in Brooklyn by his nickname “Goose”.

What only those closest to “Goose” realize is how difficult it was to keep his small business running.

First, in the midst of mandatory closings, it fell behind on rent, and now the business is spending a lot more than it did before COVID-19.

What would you like to know

  • On Monday, the Biden-Harris administration announced it was making changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (P3) to prioritize and further promote equitable access to relief.
  • Five PPP reforms include an exclusive 14-day PPP loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with less than 20 employees that begins at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
  • A billion dollars will also be set aside for businesses without employees in low to moderate income communities. This will give sole proprietors, independent contractors and independent workers access to PPP funds.
  • SBA data: the top five industries to receive PPP loans are “accommodation and food services” at 18%, construction (13%), professional, scientific and technical services (11%), health and assistance social (10%), manufacturing (10%%).

“I used a maximum of three credit cards. So my credit is shot. So hopefully I can get my credit back and get on the right track with my landlord, ”said Gustavo“ Goose ”Montenegro, owner of Headrush Barbershop.

Part of the problem for “Goose” has been that, despite two requests for financial assistance through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (P3), he never saw a dime. In the first round, $ 350 billion in loans were distributed in just two weeks.

“The first time around, they told me there wasn’t enough and to reapply,” “Goose” said. “So I did and I never got out of it.”

Now he hopes the third time will be the charm: the Biden administration announced five changes to the PPP program. “Goose” should benefit from more of them. One includes an exclusive two-week loan application period for businesses with less than 20 employees that begins February 24. The guidelines are meant to help open access to those who have been excluded from PPP loans in the past.

“[President Biden’s] the announcement includes the introduction of a two-week window, starting from Wednesday, during which only companies with fewer than 20 employees – so 98% of them – can apply for relief through the program. So they – but that we prioritize supporting businesses that were previously left behind, ”White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. “The changes also include expanding eligibility so that sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed Americans, as well as immigrants who are lawful permanent residents, can receive more support.”

The new guidelines are supposed to solve the previous problems related to the distribution of PPP loans.

“The changes announced today will remove restrictions that disproportionately barred entrepreneurs of color from receiving relief, including Americans behind on student loan payments and business owners who were previously incarcerated on charges. convictions for non-fraud, ”Psaki said.

“Goose” believes these changes show that there have been equity issues with those who received P3s in the past, and now is an effort to right those wrongs.

“People are really looking at it now and seeing that a lot of us have fallen behind on all of this and we still need it. A year after the start and we are still asking for help, ”said“ Goose ”.


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