With the fallout of COVID-19 related financial issues, businesses across the nation have applied for loans at record highs with Payment Protection Program forgivable loans being the highest. Within our own coverage area, more than 200 of these loans have been granted to local businesses to help with basic operating fees as reported July 2 by the U.S. Small Business Association.
By Editorial Board
As pandemic restrictions remain strict across the county for restaurants and other businesses, more and more are throwing in the towel and closing or filing for bankruptcy due to an inability to fund daily operations.
Loans are becoming common practice. Statewide, more than 36,000 Paycheck Protection Program loans were approved through the U.S. Small Business Association. In excess of $9.9 billion was awarded putting Pennsylvania in the top 10 states for the loan forgiveness program.
Many business owners continue to express anger over the ever-changing rules and guidelines. The anger is certainly justifiable. While loans and donations are helpful, they’re not sustainable in a long-term structure.
The only solution is to adapt. We as people and business owners have to adjust with the times and come up with alternatives.
If we don't it will continue to negatively affect our communities. The more businesses close, the less people will be inclined to travel to our areas. Residents will travel elsewhere to meet their needs.
The loss of revenue from those businesses will only have a negative impact on both the short and long term pictures.
We’ll also see a lack of new businesses moving in for a while, which will also affect the local economy. More businesses will close or be severely restricted in operations, so we’ll continue to see a decline in overall growth.
Another contributing factor to consider in the long-run is that as people get used to new ways of living; in other words, eating out less and cooking at home more, exercising at home or outdoors, etc. we’ll no longer find as much need for certain amenities. Restaurants and gyms are sure to see the brunt of this, but any non-essential indoor business is sure to see challenges.
That’s even more lost growth for our communities. So we have to come up with alternatives. Most businesses are already doing this in one way or another.
Restaurants, for example, are creating large outdoor spaces in compliance with the newest guidelines that allow for people to dine outside. Takeout has been the new norm for months now, so online marketing and promotions are a must. Salons and gyms will have a trickier time coming up with solutions, but it will be a matter of adjust or fail, so most will hopefully find some way to adjust.
While it’s important to continue to support businesses, long-term solutions and considerations have to be taken into account.
The old way of doing things may not return. We need to be creative and flexible as we move forward with new ways of doing business.