Local business owners discuss PPP loan impact with Ohio Congressmen

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Local small business owners joined Congressmen Mike Turner and Steve Chabot for a round table on PPP loans. The businesses were impacted by the COVID-19 response and received government assistance.

They said many businesses were able to survive the pandemic because of the PPP loans but know many businesses are still struggling and they’re hopeful Congress can agree on more relief soon.

Turner said $600 million from the Paycheck Protection Program went to his district. He said 5,500 businesses received this aid.

About 10 of them were present Monday and shared their struggles.

“For a time, elective surgeries, unless they were emergencies, were totally canceled and when it comes to healthcare, we rely on patients coming into the office,” said Dr. Rosalind Jackson. “We now have patients with a fear of wanting to come into the office.”

Dr. Rosalind Jackson owns Total Health and Wellness OBGYN and said she wanted to participate and show how diverse the businesses are that are impacted. Turner said right now, Congress is trying to get additional funds and make changes to the program.

“There’s a number of administrative issues with the program that we need to fix to make certain it doesn’t impact them as far as the repayment process,” said Turner.

Another business owner, Haitham Imani, said the PPP loan was a lifesaver.

“Even though business was down 70 percent, the PPP loan kept us open, kept the staff going, paid my vendors and paid my expenses,” said Imani.

Imani owns Carmen’s Deli and Bistro in downtown Dayton. He said he wanted to be there Monday first and foremost to show his appreciation for the assistance, but also to tell them he didn’t want to have to apply for more.

“As a business owner, you cannot rely to keep taking grants and loans because at end of the day you’re going to have pay to it, and sales are not what they used to be,” said Imani.

Another business owner, Veit Von Parker, said his business lost 45 percent of its revenue. He says thankfully his business, Display Dynamics, was in a better financial spot than others, but he wanted to make sure the Congressmen knew what minority business owners face.

“Awareness that for any minority-owned business, black, white, brown, whatever, it’s difficult to get funding,” said Von Parker. “In their discussions, is there any further discussions about that issue? Because that is a real issue.”

Both Turner and Chabot said overall, businesses are seeing an upswing but still need help. They’re in support of a second wave of PPP loans but said the first round was successful because of bipartisan effort and it will take that again.

Chabot said keeping small businesses alive was crucial. “About half the people in America work for a small business, and about 70 percent of new jobs created in America are created by small businesses,” he said. “When we’re back in session in a couple of weeks, I’m hopeful that we will be able to pass another round of the program which will allow both businesses who already got a loan and need another one or businesses that didn’t make it in the first round, get a paycheck protection loan.”

Chabot is the Chair of the Small Business Committee for the Ohio House.

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