Stringer Promises ‘Fair Share’ of PPP for City Businesses
City Comptroller (and mayoral candidate) Scott Stringer held a press conference yesterday at the Chinatown kiosk on Canal Street, announcing a plan to funnel federal Payroll Protection (PPP) dollars to New York city businesses. It certainly triggered an uncomfortable memory of last year’s PPP fiasco.
The first round of PPP went into effect just a few weeks into the springtime lockdown. At the time, roughly 85-percent of Chinatown businesses were closed, and news about loan availability was not disseminated to the community. This especially rang true for immigrant operators with limited English skills; yet, even those who were proficient in English had difficulty navigating the application process.
While Stringer’s announcement calls for New York’s fair share of the $284 billion package, it’s unclear whether mechanisms are in place to aid immigrant business owners, especially in communities like Chinatown where most businesses lack a computer system or the technical know-how to operate. Another issue is the language barrier. So, even though there is money out there available for payroll protection loans, I wonder how many local businesses will actually benefit from the second round of this program, and I hope our local elected or nonprofits will step up and offer assistance to those applying.