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With relief funding dried up, business owners wonder how to stay afloat

"It's been pretty frustrating and stressful," said the owner of Brawley's Beverage. He's wondering how to keep business going and keep his employees.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Two of the main coronavirus relief funding sources for small businesses hit their limits.

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), the SBA is unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 related assistance program (including EIDL Advances) based on available appropriations funding.

On March 27, President Trump signed into law the CARES Act, which contained $367 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses.
The CARES Act established temporary programs to address the Covid-19 outbreak, including the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 related assistance program, SBA Express Bridge Loans, and SBA Debt Relief.

According to NBC News, the PPP hit its $350 billion limit Thursday.

Michael Brawley, owner of Brawley’s Beverage, said he started putting together his financial information to apply for assistance in March.

First, Brawley said he tried going through his bank, Wells Fargo, but due to high demand, the bank issued a statement saying the bank could not begin his application. 

In a release on April 5, Wells Fargo announced, “Intake from customers indicates Wells Fargo has reached its capacity of $10 billion to lend under the PPP.”

Brawley then had to apply for assistance through the SBA with another smaller bank.

As of April 17, he said he has yet to receive any assistance through the PPP and isn’t hopeful about the outlook after hearing the news that funding has dried up.  

"After, you know, a week and a half of the stress of not knowing, then finally finding out, yeah, your worst fear has come to fruition, you know, you're not going to get that money,” Brawley said.  “It's just exactly how you can imagine it feels."

A plan to add $250 billion more is stalled in Congress.

RELATED: Small business lending program on hold after reaching lending limit

RELATED: How small businesses are getting by during COVID-19

Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) addressed the dried up Covid-19 relief funding sources for small businesses in a live forum on Friday.

"We need to go to work, and we need to be back in D.C. doing the job of the people,” Norman said.

Brawley said he was counting on $53,000 from the PPP to cover payroll costs for two months and other bills. He’s hoping Congress comes up with a plan soon so he can keep his business running.

“It's been pretty frustrating and stressful,” Brawley said. “You know, everyone that's in my same business is going through the same thing. The government's basically shut down our revenue."

WCNC Charlotte’s coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit wcnc.com/coronavirus for comprehensive coverage, find out what you need to know about the Carolinas specifically, learn more about the symptoms, and keep tabs on the cases around the world here. Have a question? Text it to us at 704-329-3600. And get the latest coronavirus updates sent right to your inbox every morning by subscribing to the Wake Up Charlotte newsletter here.

The state of North Carolina has set up a hotline for general questions about coronavirus at 866-462-3821 or read the frequently asked questions.  In South Carolina, for general questions about the coronavirus, call the DHEC Care Line 1-855-472-3432. Staff are answering calls 8 a.m.-6 p.m. every day.

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