DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--National Write Your Congressman (NWYC), an organization that gives small businesses a voice in American government, found more than half of small businesses are awaiting approval to receive funds from The U.S. Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP or “Program”). Of those approved, 69 percent have not received funds yet. More than two-thirds (76 percent) applied for the loans with a community bank with which they had a prior lending relationship.
The survey of 1,561 business owners conducted by NWYC April 16 through 18, asked its membership in all 50 states their experience during the coronavirus pandemic and if they utilized the U.S. government’s recent $2.2 trillion package to help businesses and employees.
“Since the coronavirus pandemic we have seen a 500 percent increase in our members’ communication to their representatives in Washington,” said Randy Ford, President and COO of National Write Your Congressman. “This is an uncertain time where small business owners need immediate funds to sustain operations and keep their doors open. It is concerning that small businesses, which make up the more than 99 percent of businesses in the United States, are uncertain if they will see the funds made available in the Program.”
NWYC’s results support recent findings from the U.S. Small Business Administration which state 60 percent of the loans were approved by banks with less than $10 billion in assets.
“We are so grateful to community banks and credit unions for helping local communities’ economy by supporting small businesses in the PPP process. The community banks were ready to process these loans and led the way. Without them, many businesses would be shut down and employees out of work,” said Ford.
Seventy percent of those surveyed applied for PPP funds. Forty-six percent have been approved for the loans, but only 31 percent have seen the money in their bank accounts. More than 30 percent of small business owners have had to lay off or furlough employees due to COVID-19. Thirteen percent have had to shut down operations completely. Thirty-six percent of business owners have been able to keep all employees.
“While many of our business member owners have had to change their business operations and layoff or furlough employees, we are encouraged to see positive stories from small businesses as well. As Congress works together to agree on a path forward, we encourage our members to contact leadership in Washington to tell their story and demand more action from Congress,” said Ford.
While 37 percent of respondents found the application process straightforward, 33 percent found the application process difficult. Thirty-eight percent were dissatisfied with how the PPP was executed and 85 percent want to see changes, including increasing the available funds for small businesses (48 percent), an easier approval process from banks (20 percent), and additional relief in the form of health care benefits, tax credits, or forgiven past loans (12 percent). Out of those that did not apply for the loan, 16 percent said they did not understand the process.
“Communicating with our leaders in Washington is paramount in this time of economic crisis. Our business owner members continue to voice that more money is needed, and changes need to be made to the Program. We need small businesses to support our economy. Everyone is concerned about the livelihood of their business and if they will survive,” said Ford.
NWYC provides members with non-partisan information and research along with the tools they can use to connect with their representatives in Washington and advocate for the policies and actions that will help their small businesses be successful for their families, their employees and their communities.
National Write Your Congressman is dedicated to the delivery of constituent information to members of Congress. It releases a Quarterly Index Score, which takes into account six factors measuring small business owners’ trust, hope and satisfaction towards Congress and government. Indexes can be found at www.nwyc.com.
NWYC collected data using an online survey administered April 16-18, 2020. A total of 1,561 respondents participated. Respondents represent 49 of the 50 states in the U.S. Fifty-four percent of business owners surveyed employ 1-9 employees and 44 percent employ 10-99 employees. The predominant industries represented are construction, services, automotive repair, health, legal, accounting, engineering, advertising, education, manufacturing, agriculture, and retail trade. To view the full report, visit www.nwyc.com.
About National Write Your Congressman
National Write Your Congressman (NWYC) is an organization that gives small businesses a voice in American government. As the nation’s largest, privately held, nonpartisan membership organization made up of small businesses, NWYC is dedicated to the delivery of constituent opinions to representatives in Washington. For more than 60 years, NWYC has provided small business owners and operators the tools necessary to connect with members of Congress and a platform to let their collective voice be heard. NWYC’s team of experts provides unbiased, nonpartisan information and research on top issues and pending legislation relevant to small business owners today. NWYC presents both sides of the issue so that members can form an educated opinion and let their opinions be heard.