Cy-Fair Edition | October 2020

FUNDING FUTURE The deadline to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program loans was in August. The U.S. Congress has thus far not passed a bill to revive it.

Loan forgiveness process As of mid-September, Black said she was working to have the loans for Reach Unlimited fully forgiven, a process that involves proving the loans were spent in a way that meets the eligibility requirements. Several business owners said in interviews that having loans completely for- given is crucial to keeping their busi- nesses solvent moving forward. Jessica Leone, the assistant vice president with Texas-based Frost Bank, said the bank received thou- sands of loan applications between April through when applications closed Aug. 8. Frost provided more than 1,500 loans to businesses in the Cy-Fair area, according to SBA data. To be eligible for complete forgive- ness, funds need to be spent on mort- gage, utilities and rent, with at least 60% of any loan used to pay sta. Tammy Chambers said her goal from the start was to make sure any loans they took on were 100% for- given, and she has worked tirelessly crunching the numbers to prepare for the forgiveness application process. “We cannot aord any more debt,” she said. Frost launched a loan forgiveness team in August that has specically

Injury Disaster Loans provided by the Small Business Administration. In the meantime, debates continue within Congress over the next poten- tial stimulus package, including how much PPP loan money would be included and if any new conditions will be placed on which businesses are eligible for that funding. As of press time, no bill had been passed, but ocials with the Texas Restaurant Association said they are hopeful to see one introduced soon and have advocated for more relief for restaurants. According to research from the National Restaurant Associ- ation, about 50% of restaurant own- ers in Texas do not expect to be open six months from now if economic conditions remain unchanged. Tim Jecoat, the district director of the SBA in Houston, said a big challenge for businesses moving forward will be adapting to the new environment. “There’s 100 dierent ways those meals can leave your kitchen and get into people’s hands and have them put money in your pocket,” he said.

been tasked with helping business owners navigate the application process to have their loans forgiven, Leone said. “So many people are ready to get that forgiveness taken care of,” Leone said. “I think there is going to a large wave of people who, once it’s ocially turned on, are going to be anxious to get in there.” Future stimulus Since exhausting his PPP loan money in early September, Harry Chambers said he is starting to see business bound back at the Cy-Fair and Tomball locations of Harris County Smokehouse, while business at the Katy location—which typically receives a lot of lunchtime trac from oce workers—has been slower to recover. Harry Chambers and Buitron both said they would consider applying for a second round of PPP loans if the opportunity became available. Don James, who owns Brix Wine Cellar and Brixology Crafted Cocktails in Vintage Park, said he spent his PPP loans by July on payroll, rent and util- ities. Instead of more PPP loans, he said he would rather see a forgiveness mechanism put in place for Economic

MARCH 27

Congress passes the CARES Act, including $349 billion for the PPP loans.

APRIL 3

PPP applications begin being accepted with a deadline of June 30.

APRIL 27

The PPP funding pot is replenished with additional $310 billion.

JUNE 5

The Paycheck Program Flexibility Act extends how long borrowers can use money to 24 weeks.

JULY 4

The deadline to apply for PPP funding is extended to Aug. 8.

AUG. 8

The PPP closes to new applicants.

SEPT. 10

The HEALS Act, including a second round of loan funding for certain businesses, fails in Congress.

For more information, visit communityimpact.com .

SOURCE: U.S. CONGRESS COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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