CLEVELAND, Ohio — A test prep service and a chiropractor are struggling. A clothing shop is optimistic, while making custom masks to help get by. And an RV business is booming.
Cleveland.com spoke with 15 Northeast Ohio businesses that in August signed an open letter to Congress, requesting more federal aid to cope with the shockwaves of the pandemic. Exactly how they’re faring during the pandemic is different, but as it stretches receiving more federal relief would be helpful for most.
“Small businesses were affected greatly, depending on what industry you’re in,” said Rob Scott, regional administrator for the Small Business Administration. “Obviously, some industries like the hospitality industry, like the restaurant industry, are seeing different effects from say a manufacturing company or a service industry.”
During a July survey from Goldman Sachs, only 36% of small businesses said their business could last through another shutdown.
The Cleveland businesses that signed the letter are part of Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses Voices program, which brings businesses together to support helpful policy changes.
The businesses that signed the letter, which ran in The Plain Dealer on Sept. 2, received forgivable loans through the federal CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program in April. They used the loans to maintain their payroll, hire back employees who may have been laid off or cover applicable overhead. Some used it for rent, health insurance, water and other bills. But the PPP ended Aug. 8. And the economy is far from roaring.
“At the most basic level the funds were designed to help people retain employees at small businesses with a time limit on the funds, the ability in many industries to go back to putting people to work and resuming operation didn’t happen as quickly as everyone hoped,” says Scott Shane, a Case Western Reserve University