Coronavirus News: Small business on the brink without stimulus money

WABC logo
Monday, May 18, 2020
Small business on the brink without stimulus money
Nina Pineda has more on how 7 On Your Side helped a small business get its rightful PPP loan.

TENAFLY, New Jersey (WABC) -- The second round of the Payroll Protection Program, or PPP stimulus money, to help businesses is rolling out much more smoothly than the first round when it ran out of money within two weeks.

Over the weekend, the application and instructions on how to have the loan forgiven were released.

More than $500 billion has been given out so far and 7 On Your Side helped a small retailer and her bank see eye-to-eye and get her loan going.

"I have my insurance, my taxes for payroll, rent I have PSE&G, the phone, the fees, my bills are piling up, I had a meeting with my landlord and I don't have any answers," said Gina Curko.

Curko's boutique, See Saw in Tenafly, is bursting with spring and summer fashions which all wilted when non-essential retail shops were ordered closed in March after the owner had already invested in items for the new season.

"I have to pay all of my vendors which is a lot of money," said the storeowner.

The day 7 On Your Side visited, she was waiting for a rep from her bank to figure out her PPP loan status. She says she applied for the SBA-backed lifeline the day the program opened April 3.

"I have been in business 17 years, I've banked with the same bank for 17 years, I just want to get what was promised to me so that I can maintain and come back and employ my people that have been with me for so so long," she said.

But the Bank of America rep never showed up, leaving the retailer on tilt.

"It's unbelievable anxiety to hopelessness to taking anger out on family not knowing what's going on with my business," Curko said.

The initial infusion of $349 billion that Congress approved in Paycheck Protection at the end of March to help small businesses like Curko's survive ran out of money within two weeks.

When 7 On Your Side checked on See Saw's status, Bank of America said it was all up and down.

Bank of America said 300,000 applications were received in the first round. Some PPP applicants were disqualified for mistakes like using the wrong form or submitting incomplete information.

After 7 On Your Side got involved, the boutique's bank rescued her denial, processed her loan and the funds, about $34,000, were direct deposited.


COVID-19 Help, Information and Resources


New York state


New York City

Long Island

Grieving the lost: Tri-State residents who have died


Share your coronavirus story with Eyewitness News

Stimulus check scams and other coronavirus hoaxes

Coronavirus prevention: how clean are your hands?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus

Coronavirus cases by NJ county