Coronavirus impact: Bay Area small businesses struggle to apply for loans as federal funding runs out

MILLBRAE, Calif. (KGO) -- California ranks second in the nation for the highest number of small business loans approved under the Paycheck Protection Program, according to an ABC7 I-Team analysis of SBA data.

Yet, hundreds of thousands of small businesses are still stuck on the waiting list as federal funding runs out.

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Two sources confirm to ABC News the roughly $350 billion funding package is expected to be gone by Wednesday night.

Local Bay Area small business owners like Erin Burke are worried they won't be able to wait.

"We're doing everything we can to survive this," said Erin Burke, owner of Millbrae Pancake House. "This is the worst."

Burke has cut 80-percent of her staff amid impacts of COVID-19.

"This is not how we want to end this," Burke said, who tried to apply for a loan under the PPP. "At first it didn't work. The computer was gridlocked, it froze, there was no way in."

Five days later her application was accepted, but her loan still hasn't been approved.

Joe Field, owner of a Concord-based comic book store, is still struggling to even apply.

"In lost sales right now, we're approaching $100,000," said Field.

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Seventeen days after first filing for a loan with Wells Fargo, Field has yet to even file his application to be considered.

"They sent an email saying we're not ready to file... wait a few more days," said Field.

Similar situation for Josh Kizler, owner of Kizler Coffee in Pacifica.

Kizler received this message from his bank Wednesday: "We're at the mercy of the SBA when it comes to a timeline."

"I've heard nothing, not one word," said Kizler.

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ABC7 News spoke with SBA San Francisco District Director Julie Clowes.

"The goal is once the application is approved the goal is to get the funds dispersed in 10 days or less," said Clowes.

"We know the system is overwhelmed. Is that expectation realistic?" ABC7 News Reporter Stephanie Sierra asked.

"We are seeing more wait times, unfortunately we are throwing every available resource we can find at this to move the loans through faster," Clowes said.

Close to 55,000 loans under the PPP have been approved in California totaling more than $20 billion.

California trails behind Texas ranking second in the nation for total approved loans, according to data from April 13.

"We hope we can survive this," said Burke, hoping to make it on that list. "We will fight for this."

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