ARDEN ARCADE (CBS13) — Response to the federal stimulus package to help small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic has been overwhelming. At least one bank is no longer accepting applications.
“We were told by one of our bankers to just keep checking in every hour online,” said John Richards.
Richards owns Professional Village Pharmacy in Arden Arcade. On Saturday, he filled out an application for the Paycheck Protection Program to reimburse him for payroll costs and other expenses associated with the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus.
Monday morning, Richards met with a Wells Fargo banker.
“And she says she cannot determine if we are in the queue or not in the queue,” he said. “She suggested we look at other banks to see if other banks might be able to help us.”
Richards has been a Wells Fargo customer for 20 years. He says he was told it could be three to four days before he finds out if he will receive money.
“She said they were done accepting at this point.”
That was not good news for Maria Leon, who was in line at another Wells Fargo in Natomas. Her family-owned janitorial business has several employees. She had a lot of questions, including how long funding could last.
“When I [went] to the bank, they told me they could help me for six months,” she said.
Richards is worried it’s going to be the small business like these that go out of business if help doesn’t arrive immediately.
“I think it’s going to really hurt those small businesses, microbusinesses, that are trying to do the right thing and trying to keep their employees employed,” Richards said.
Wells Fargo says they have reached their $10 billion capacity to lend under the Paycheck Protection Program. Other larger banks are accepting applications but we do not have an update on the number who have applied.
Some smaller credit unions have opted not to join in, instead offering individualized help to long-term business customers.