Business owners hope stimulus will relieve crisis

SEATTLE -- President Trump is expected to sign into law nearly $500 billion in emergency funding to help small businesses reeling in the economic crisis.

Congress agreed to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program and others meant to help entrepreneurs and their employees stay afloat.

The first round of nearly $350 billion in stimulus evaporated in only a few days and many small businesses were left wondering if they’d been left behind.

“I’m just trying to come out of this swinging,” said Heath Anderson.

Anderson’s ‘Fresh the Juice Bar’ in Issaquah is open but instead of a slew of customers, online donations are paying for treats he’s delivering to healthcare workers battling the virus.

He said even though he applied for multiple forms of financial assistance the money never materialized.

“When you’ve got zeroes in your accounts and something like this happens, there’s not much else you can do,” he said.

In Seattle, storefronts are still boarded up and businesses have closed, including Floyd McIsaac’s bar named Changes.

“I’ve had some sleepless nights about the future of my business,” he said.

McIsaac also applied for help keeping employees paid and the bar in the black, but he too was denied.

“I didn’t realise these big companies were going to march in front of us and get all this money and leave the rest of us out with nothing,” he said.

The first round of federal cash went fast, passing over both McIsaac and Anderson.

The Washington Post reports the next wave of money may still not be enough to meet the demand of small businesses who would qualify.

Anderson says he’ll keep working to stay afloat thanks to donations, and thanks customers buying gift cards as long as he can.

But McIsaac worries if he doesn’t get approval the second time around, his Wallingford neighborhood bar may close for good after more than thirty years.

“I cannot see going past the end of July,” he said. “I’m going to have to make a decision at that point.”