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Local business owner says PPP loans are not enough

Posted at 5:12 PM, Dec 29, 2020

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The COVID Relief Bill included billions of dollars for the renewal of the payroll protection program. Qualifying businesses will once again be able to take out forgivable PPP loans to keep employees on the payroll.

One owner of a local bar/restaurant says the first round of PPP loans did help them stay afloat, but he’s not sure if second round would be helpful for his situation now. For many in the industry the last nine months have been a struggle to say the least.

“We were able to sell premade cocktails and some food, and then that’s been gone, we were able to let people in and then we weren’t, and then we were again. So it's been challenging.” said The Royal Room Owner Ian Stupar.

Stupar says a PPP loan earlier in the pandemic helped keep three employees on the payroll.

“We were able to use it for payroll, and some of the overhead, like rent and utilities.”

The COVID Relief Bill includes another round of the payroll protection program. But Stupar says he’s not sure if he’ll be applying again. A forgivable loan to keep people employed is one thing, but a business needs actual revenue.

“Maybe in some circumstances for some people it could be make or break for them, but unless you have that consistent sales coming in and people supporting your business it's going to dry up pretty quick.”

Stupar says the new PPP loans could be a lifeline for some businesses, but what is really needed is community support.

Even more so, the effort needs to be put towards supporting the little guy.

Stupar says the Royal Room is open Wednesday through Sunday at 50% capacity. They close at the 10 pm curfew.

“We are also doing delivery through Postmates and DoorDash and we have online ordering for curbside pick-up.”