The Health Crisis Takes a Toll on Small Businesses

The devastating economic impact on my family's restaurant.

The Health Crisis Takes a Toll on Small Businesses

Salt Lake Tribune

During this pandemic, small businesses have awaited for additional funding due to the fact that they are making almost half of what they made before this health crisis. This includes my family’s small business, El Rocoto; we had sent in a loan application a few weeks ago, but the fund had unfortunately run out. It left my parents, the owners of the restaurant, hopeless about another loan, or what would happen to our business.

On Friday, March 27th, President Trump signed the CARES Act which directly benefitted small businesses. In relief of workers and businesses, it contained $376 billion which was distributed to those who submitted applications and met the requirements. This funding benefitted many businesses who were accepted, but once the fund ran out a few weeks later, it left those businesses with pending applications questioning what would happen during this pandemic. 

After 12 years of owning a family business, El Rocoto, my parents had never faced a situation like this one. They switched to take out and delivery services, which definitely cut down the daily income in half that our restaurant made before the pandemic. “When I first heard about the SBA loan, I was so relieved, but so nervous at the same time.” Owner Miguel Diaz said. “I knew so many small businesses would submit applications for this loan, so that’s why I was so anxious. My wife and I needed to figure out a way to handle this in a calm manner.” Diaz finished. My parents filled out an application and submitted it as fast as they could, anxious for a response back.

“El Rocoto is how we feed our family, the business that literally keeps our family alive, so this situation scares me.” Owner Lilia Fregoso said. “My husband and I have owned this business for close to 13 years now, and we weren’t sure how switching from dine-in to only take out and delivery would affect our income, so this loan was our only hope.” After waiting a few days, the SBA had declared that a load of businesses sent in applications, and the fund was empty. My parents immediately researched in hope for another loan. 

On April 24, the federal government announced that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) would resume funding, which is primarily for payroll-related expenses in businesses. “This definitely gives us another chance at getting accepted for the fund, I just hope things will resume back to normal soon, it would not only benefit our business, but so many others. But what matters is staying healthy.” Miguel Diaz said. This current pandemic has caused so much economic disruption in small businesses, like my family’s restaurant. People live off their small businesses, and this loan will not only benefit them, but the lives of those owners.