With the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program completely drained of its $350 billion coffer, stories of North Texas small businesses that missed out on the money continue to emerge.
“It was a complete gut punch,” Mark Maguire, co-owner and managing partner of Maguire’s Grille said.
Maguire found out last week that his application for PPP funds, which his lender had told him was near the very front of the line, had come up short.
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“Every day there was a call from us, 'Hey have you got everything from us? Everything is teed up, you are in good shape,' and then last Friday we get a call, 'You were stuck in the cue before you could get a loan number, funds are gone, sorry,'” Maguire said.
In recent weeks Maguire’s Grille has focused on pickup and delivery orders, hoping to stem their losses until business could start to normalize. But that plan was based on the belief that they would soon get substantial help from the SBA.
“The most realistic outcome out of this is if we don’t get funding we are going to have to shut down,” Maguire said.
According to the Texas Restaurant Association, less than 5% of the $350 billion in PPP funds went to the restaurant industry. And in recent days, it’s become clear that many businesses that are neither small or in need of money were able to qualify for and get millions.
“I think there’s some legitimate integrity with the way this process unfolded with some people, but I think it was a big money grab for others,” Maguire said.
Maguire remained optimistic that his restaurant and others would be able to survive, but the future he said is hard to predict and federal help is increasingly uncertain.
“I don’t know if I have enough trust in the system to believe there is any certainty that I’m going to get any money on this next round,” he said.