As the coronavirus continues to batter the U.S. economy, mom-and-pop operations are struggling to stay afloat despite the federal government’s efforts to distribute $659 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses.
“It's going to be a wash in the next six months — we'll see who survives and who doesn't,” Pennsylvania pub owner Pat Ryan told Yahoo Finance’s On the Move last week. “But it's going to take at least a year to get out of this hole.”
Paul and Pat Ryan own and operate four restaurants in Pennsylvania: Ryan's Pub, which has two locations, Smokey Joe's, and PJ Ryan's Pub. The Ryan brothers say they have attempted to apply for a loan for all four of their locations under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small business coronavirus relief. So far, they have been approved for three loans.
The PPP, which had a notoriously rocky rollout, reopened for a second round last week after running out of an initial $349 billion in just 13 days.
Despite the PPP, Ryan said, “As time goes on, people are going to fall farther and farther behind.”
The state of Pennsylvania currently has a stay-at-home order in place until May 8, but Pat Ryan said it could be some time before the bar gets fully up-and-running because the re-opening could come in several stages.
Moreover, Pennsylvania’s bars and restaurants will likely not be able to operate at full capacity. “With social distancing, how we’re going to do that in a bar, I don’t know. We’ll have to get direction from the government,” Ryan said.
In the meantime, Ryan said, “Most of the staff is just waiting and texting all the time, ‘When are we going to open?’”
McKenzie DeGroot is a producer at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @degrootmckenzie