BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s now been four days since the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, ran out of money and still no deal to replenish the funds has been approved.
Local businesses say they are still waiting for checks to arrive.
While some have been able to secure loans from the federal government, others applied too late. And now, they’re hopeful there will be a second round of funding approved at some point this week.
Max’s Taphouse in Fells Point is one of the many Baltimore City businesses forced to close down and furlough its many employees.
“How do we all make it work, not only from us from a business standpoint but also for people socially?” said Gail Furman, a co-owner of Max’s Taphouse.
Lawmakers are now working to secure $470 billion to replenish the relief funds for businesses.
On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Democrats are still negotiating with the Trump administration, and suggested the Senate meet on Tuesday to finalize a plan.
“However since this is so urgent, I’ve asked that the Senate meet tomorrow in a new session that was not previously scheduled. And the Democratic leader has agreed to my request. Colleagues it is past time to get this done for our country,” McConnell said.
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Last week, Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen wrote a letter to Congress asking that it release additional monies immediately and clarify elements of the PPP.
“I think all of us have been hearing about the mom and pop small businesses have had difficult accessing these funds, they don’t have connection to the big banks, so we want to make sure as we replenish the fund, that the funds are getting to all the small businesses that need it,” Van Hollen said.
Officials warn the second quarter of GDP numbers could be the lowest since the Great Depression, but they believe the economy will bounce back when the country reopens.
Gail Furman said she wants to be sure even the smallest businesses are taken into account this time around.
“And how are we going to accommodate not just the standard business but those who provide entertainment and social aspects and how are they going to do it? Because I think we have been left out.” She said.
One major company, Shake Shack, announced it was giving back its $10 million loan from the program, saying they felt it was the right thing to do.
Meanwhile, negotiators said a new relief package could pass by the end of this week.