Weekly Small Business News Roundup #2: All About the PPP Loans

Hi everyone,

Small Business things you should know: PPP and other ways to get relief, SBA relaunches cash grant program for these types of small businesses, and who is getting the most of the second round of the PPP loans?

Happy reading!


Hiring did not start strong in the new year …

Small Businesses Report Substantial Decline in January 2021 Hiring Trends (BusinessWire)

The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index (“SBEI”) opened in 2021 with a seasonally adjusted decline of 1.29% for January. This marks the largest seasonally adjusted decrease for the index since May 2020, as small businesses continue to navigate pandemic-related restrictions and harsh winter weather. The CBIZ SBEI tracks payroll and hiring trends for 3,400 companies that have 300 or fewer employees, providing a broad insight into small business trends.

There is more help out there for you besides PPP loans …

Besides PPP Loans, here are sources where local small businesses can get relief (Philadelphia Inquirer)

By now, most small businesses are familiar with the economic relief available to us through the federal government such as the Paycheck Protection and Shuttered Venue Operations programs, as well as the availability of long-term, government-backed Economic Injury Disaster Loans, all through the Small Business Administration. But it’s not just the federal government that’s offering relief to small businesses. Eligible companies in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware can also take advantage of grant and loan programs that provide critical funding to help us through this severe economic downturn.

And SBA is offering more ways to help you …

SBA relaunches cash grant program for these types of small businesses (SBA)

Starting on February 1, 2021, the Small Business Administration (SBA) started inviting select applicants to apply for the $10,000 Targeted EIDL Grant Application. The program has been renamed the Targeted EIDL Advance and means thousands of dollars for eligible small businesses. If you’ve previously applied and received part of the EIDL Advance (but not the full $10,000), and the SBA thinks you’re in a low-income community based on your address, you’re up first. Then if you’ve previously applied but didn’t receive anything, and the SBA thinks you’re in a low-income community based on your address, your second up.

Business Owners share thoughts about their future …

53% of small business owners don’t expect to return to pre-Covid levels for at least 6 months (CNBC)

Nearly a year since the coronavirus pandemic forced businesses to scale back operations, business owners are still struggling to recover. About 53% of small business owners don’t expect to return to pre-Covid operations for at least the next six months, according to data from the Small Business Pulse Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau in December 2020. Just over a quarter of small businesses in metro areas around the country are currently operating at normal levels, the survey shows.

Bad news for most in LA …

Los Angeles Loses Most Small Businesses in the US Since Pandemic Began (Spectrum News)

A recent Yelp economic report listed Los Angeles as the U.S. city with the most business closures since the pandemic started. The report revealed there have been 15,000 business closures across Los Angeles County, with half of those expected to be permanent. The CEO of the L.A. Economic Development Corporation, Bill Allen, tells Inside the Issues why Southern California is a hotspot for small business losses. Businesses hit the hardest by the pandemic were restaurants, retail stores, bars, beauty salons, and gyms. Allens points out ownership and business size greatly impacted how long businesses were able to stay open after stay-at-home orders were put in place.

How did the PPP loans help?

$500 Billion in Aid to Small Businesses: How Much Did It Help? (NY Times)

Some economists say the Paycheck Protection Program has not proved as useful as other aid. The debate could sway the new administration’s plans. As Democrats and Republicans spent months last fall arguing over how to rescue the economy, one provision drew widespread support from lawmakers: reviving the Paycheck Protection Program, the government’s marquee effort to help small businesses weather the pandemic. Yet there is dissent from one notable contingent: Academic economists who have studied the program have concluded that it has saved relatively few jobs and that, at a cost of more than half a trillion dollars, it has been far less efficient than other government efforts to help the economy.

“A very large chunk of the benefit went to a very small share of the firms, and those were probably the firms least in need,” said David Autor, an M.I.T. economist who led one study.

Walmart is getting into the ad game …

Walmart Buys Ad Tech to Chase Small-Business Advertisers (WSJ)

Walmart Inc. will acquire technology from Thunder Industries, a company that uses automation to create digital ads, as it continues to invest in its ad business and seeks a greater slice of marketing budgets from small businesses. Walmart instead will use Thunder’s technology to launch a self-service tool that helps advertisers make and buy numerous versions of display ads targeting different kinds of consumers on its properties. A skincare company could use the tool to create versions of an ad with models of different ages, for example, then use the technology to determine which performs best. The new self-serve display ad tool will launch later this year, the company said.

Rural U.S. States Get Larger Share of PPP Loans in Latest Round (Washington Post)

Small businesses in Nebraska, Oklahoma and other rural states have been the most successful at getting federal pandemic relief in the $284 billion round of aid that opened this month, buoyed by a new rule that authorizes loans to many farms that didn’t qualify before. Measured by their share of the nation’s small-business payroll, four states, also including North Dakota and Wyoming, got more than twice their share of Paycheck Protection Program loans, based on an analysis of data from Jan. 11 to Jan. 24 released by the Small Business Administration this week.

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