The Federal Government appears to be saying, “BE SAVE – BACK A STEP.”
Our request is more appropriate, “Don’t let small businesses die.”
Countless small businesses will not survive. The historic Small Business Federal Disaster Program enacted by bipartisan majorities --- ran out of money and recently “earned” a respite with more money.
But is it available to true small businesses or something else?
From our perspective, the new federal funding program has missed the mark and again, the only benefit appears to be a select few with influence and nothing more to garner the funds with no questions asked.
The rollout and implementation were plagued by problems from the start (as if the government didn’t want it to work in the first place), and the Small Business Administration (SBA), which is running the program, appeared overwhelmed.
Mandatory business shutdowns and quarantines have decimated small businesses. No-fault of their own, but the federal government by its procrastination, unconscionable paper working and excuses to selectively fund “insiders,” gives the appears of a hidden agenda to blame small businesses for perpetuating the dilemma and not worthy of support. It is the small businesses on the battle line, help and doing what the can, supporting the community, seeking and to easy the pandemic while they fight the government for a few dollars.
Is that the American Way or just more noise?
Our GREENMARK 101 research shows that 74% of small businesses applied for federal disaster relief when the program opened on April 3. Within a week and a half, the funding appropriation was nearly three-quarters gone, even though most small businesses are telling us they have yet to receive any money and are running into roadblocks when applying. They’re angry at the SBA and the banks for failing to come through and lack of communications.
We are on the same cliff with nowhere to go, except to push back.
More money and communication are needed. Roughly 1.6 million small companies were able to obtain loans, the SBA said, out of 6 million that were likely eligible. Bank of American economists estimate than another $650 billion would be necessary to meet demands, while our algorithms reckon $1.1 trillion.
Congress is on the wrong mountain when considering small business funding.
It would be better if lawmakers directed at least $400 billion to fund businesses with 20 or fewer employees, take steps to make sure the funds make it to true small business. The SBA must ensure a “level playing field.” Complete transparency is required to uncover and disclose undue influence, objectionable connections, and the means to obtain special treatment.
Small businesses are not asking for handouts or something for nothing. The COVID-19 cure for small businesses is useless if the patient is already dead. From what has occurred to date, the federal government wants small businesses to take a step back and disappear.
Small businesses are half of America’s economy and account for 56% of America’s jobs.
This crucial part of the economy is most in danger of failing. The vast majority of small businesses have fewer than 20 employees. They don’t have an army of lawyers and accountants to process their paperwork, nor do they have piles of reserves or huge lines of credit with financial institutions to weather the crisis.
Small businesses are the silent majority that functions without benefit of a safety net, unlike the public companies and the other kind that are being funded without mindfulness.
Small businesses are always “at risk,” but continue to persevere.
COVID-19 is not their fault, but the lack of federal support is sending a message: “Be safe – Back a Step.”
Northridge Corporation, subsidiary Greenmark Corporation, and divisions will survive and hopefully all small businesses. Yet, we collectively reinforced what we know --- never relief on anyone or anything except the internal strength and fortitude, your personnel, suppliers, and the integrity of the status quo.
Small businesses must stick together. We don’t have much to offer but are willing to share what we have. Just ask, and maybe we can collectively take a step forward and get off the ledge.
“We will come out of this. Small businesses are empowered with a voice to correct these injustices. We must use it. Intrinsic to our business model are empathy, generosity, respect, and integrity." Christopher Netelkos, Vice President, Northridge Corporation