CHICAGO (CBS) – They’re not workers, they’re family – that’s what small business owner Phil Burkhalter makes clear.
As CBS 2’s Brad Edwards reported on Thursday night, this is one of the main reasons that Burkhalter and other business owners applied for the Paycheck Protection Program – to keep this family going. work so that she can feed her own family.
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And then the news came on Thursday that the government program is down – taken out of service.
“It’s critical to keep employees paid and on the books,” Burkhalter said when asked if the payment was life or death.
Burkhalter’s American Signs by Tomorrow printing house at 2834 N. Halsted St. is silent. It has been in operation since 1994.
And now, Burkhalter is the portrait of a small business owner on closing. Like many, he asked for the government’s paycheck protection program to help, and possibly save, his working family.
“I applied. I got a reference number to say the application was filed, and then I waited, like you were supposed to,” he said. “I waited a week and then I started to get nervous.”
So Burkhalter picked up the phone and started calling the bank. It was then that his frustrations grew.
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“They have the reference number,” Burkhalter said.
He didn’t stop there.
“Then I started calling the 800 numbers, the 877 numbers, the 866 numbers,” Burkhalter said.
He did everything right. But within a week, the $ 350 billion small business loan program is down.
“If I don’t get the money, I’ll try as long as I can to pay my employees with my savings – my personal savings,” Burkh – but I’m doing my best to keep as many jobs as possible.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he had asked lawmakers an additional $ 250 billion for the program.
It is not known if and when this would happen.
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The Paycheck Protection Program helps businesses with fewer than 500 employees by lending money at low interest rates. Loans are canceled if employees are kept on the payroll for at least eight weeks.