NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – The federal government this week launched another round of the Paycheck Protection Program, or P3s.
Throughout the pandemic, Chef Frank Brigtsen kept safety in mind for his staff at his flagship restaurant, which meant a healthy dose of creativity.
“For the past 10 months I’ve been writing cookbooks for sale online, spice mixes, T-shirts, hats for sale online, take out business,” Brigtsen said. .
However, reopening after the summer shutdown, Brigtsen says they used the money from the paycheck protection loan, with the only option to reopen the dining room. But additional COVID restrictions have made it even more difficult.
“It’s a Tuesday night, we have seven people on reservations tonight, seven and six, take out take out. That doesn’t cover much… But this new round of PPP will hopefully be what gets us through the next three months. It kind of brings us closer to spring, which we hope will be a better time for the vaccine to come out, ”Brigtsen said.
Brigsten is already planning to apply in the new cycle, but this time the loans and qualifications are different.
“There are some things that are more flexible. This time you only have to use 60% of the loan on the payroll and the 40% can be used for other things like rent and utilities also now, ”said Michael Hecht of GNO Inc.
Hecht says that over the summer, nearly 29,000 P3 loans distributed throughout the greater New Orleans area helped put more than 280,000 people back to work. He says restaurants will particularly benefit from this round.
“For most businesses it’s two and a half times a month’s payroll, but for restaurants it’s three and a half times a month’s payroll, so restaurants get a bonus in terms of loan amount they can take out and amount. it can be forgiven…. so this is really a cash grant to businesses so they can keep their employees and stay open until we are all vaccinated and kind of come back to the new normal in the middle of summer, ”Hecht said.
“While we wish it had happened sooner, it couldn’t have happened at a better time. Because we’ve seen a drop in business with it. With the increase in infections, ”Brigtsen said.
For New Orleans’ prized and struggling restaurants, Brigtsen says P3 money isn’t the answer, but it will help.
“We define the neighborhoods. We are anchoring neighborhoods and providing 11 million jobs and these are independent restaurants, ”Brigtsen said.
Brigtsen says that from a business perspective, applying for loans this round is also much easier.
For businesses that apply for a second time, loans are only available for businesses with 300 or fewer employees and up to $ 2 million.
First-time companies can claim $ 10 million if they have 500 or fewer employees.
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