Huntsville small business waiting to hear back on coronavirus assistance loan

The business told us they applied nearly 2 weeks ago and are hoping to get the loan.

Posted: Apr 14, 2020 5:30 PM

The clock is ticking for businesses across North Alabama, and time is running out on how long some can stay open.

It’s also adding up in delays for loans.

The Sportspage on South Memorial Parkway is on day 13 of waiting to hear back about its loan request. One of the co-owners said they're trying to stay patient but are getting nervous.

"Thank God our customers are great. We've been selling a lot of food, but it's not enough to sustain the business itself," said Brian O'Beirne, the co-owner for the bar.

It’s why the Sportpage applied for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, also known as an EIDL.

WAAY 31 first talked to the bar owners a month ago when the state ordered all restaurants and bars to close their doors to the public and only allow take-out or delivery.

Owners O'Beirne and Mike Roberts said the takeout and delivery aren’t enough. Two weeks ago, they asked the Small Business Administration for help.

"I know they're busy. I know they're going to get to it," O'Beirne said.

Now, this particular loan is one that would not have to be repaid, and she can include a $10,000 cash advance within a week. O’Beirne said they applied two weeks ago.

"I'd like to hear and know, one way or another. If it goes another week, I'll probably get concerned," he said.

O'Beirne said the EIDL is the only loan they applied for. It’s different than the more commonly known paycheck protection program.

"We're scared to of getting out to too many programs because we don't want to get in trouble for double dipping or using money we're not supposed to use. We're just trying to do it right," he said.

He explained while they're struggling to get by, they're thankful for their customers and their landlord for all the support during the pandemic.

"I never ever though this would be what got us to the edge. "Thank God my landlord has been extremely cool throughout the entire process and he's giving us slack on rent because if that was due we wouldn't make it," O'Beirne said.

Money for the EIDL comes directly from the small business administration instead of a bank. The application is also streamlined.

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