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86% of ECPs Applied for COVID-19 Financial Aid; Only 23% So Far Have Received It

They’re hoping the newly approved 2nd round will be more fruitful.

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WHEN CONGRESS INITIALLY approved the CARES Act on March 26, which included $350 billion for the Small Business Administration to help U.S. small businesses, it sounded like good news for all those businesses that wondered how they would survive being shut down for many weeks.

COVID-19 business loan chart

Nearly 80 percent of respondents to part two of INVISION’s COVID-19 Impact Survey said they had applied for the Payroll Protection Program and 45 percent for Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

But the programs ran out of money before many saw a dime. Though 23 percent of respondents reported having received the aid they applied for, that left out 64 percent. That has led to frustration.

“The PPP was a disaster,” reports Andrew Romeril, OD, of Torrey Highlands Optometry in San Diego, CA. “Wells Fargo dropped the ball for us initially and we had to look elsewhere for an application, but despite being on top of this from the start, we didn’t receive any funding. Hoping round two is done better, but we’ve grown accustomed to federal incompetence.”

Harry Roth of eyeQ Opticians, Millburn, NJ, was also on top of everything, to no avail. “I applied for everything and applied at the very first opportunity available. Got nothing.”

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And Annette Prevaux of The Visionary in Allen Park, MI, initially received good news, but then things turned: “I was approved for the SBA PPP loan but … funding ran out.”

But more often, the process was slowed down for businesses due to vague information requirements. “Every two days there are more requests for information; first it was my 2018 SCED-C, now it’s my 2019 SCED-C, but my accountant is closed, so it’s another delay to complete payment protection. I’ve been working on this for over 40 hours,” said Dr. Ken Weiner, OD, Livingston, NJ

Those who haven’t yet received loans are hoping that the newly approved second round of CARES Act funding totaling $484 billion passed on April 24 will prove more fruitful.

Having built a career in service journalism, Dee has been covering the eyecare industry for over a decade. As editor-in-chief of INVISION Magazine, she is passionate about telling independent ECPs stories and can be reached directly at [email protected]

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