Navigating the payroll protection program

BOSTON — Money for the second wave of Federal money for Payroll Protection Program or PPP loans was ready to go Monday morning. But you had better act fast.

The money is first come, first serve. One local business that was able to navigate the process during the first round is Lucky Finn Café located in Norwell and Scituate.

It’s a family business that Chris Stoddard helps run with his wife Maryellen. Chris says they are finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

"We’re starting to see some small green shoots in terms of how our business is picking up a little bit," he said.

He added the PPP loan was helpful to keep them afloat.

“It did take off a lot of the pressure to be able to continue to stay operating,” he said.

Chris says they applied for the PPP loan in the first round and it wasn’t easy. A standing relationship with their bank was crucial.

“So what I realized pretty quickly was is the only way to submit a PPP application was going to be through the relationship that existed already,” he said.

And while the loan helped, they also adapted their business by shifting gears from in store to more online sales. Innovation was key but so was patience with the loan process.

“My recommendation would be that you really have to persevere with your existing bank,” he said.

If a strong relationship does not exist, you are not totally out of luck.

Forbes Magazine says financial technology companies or “fintechs” have been OK’d to give PPP loans. Companies like PayPal, Square Capital and QuickBooks capital also offer loans.

In the end, Chris said the changes made and the PPP loan will help them bounce back even though right now their business is off from where it was pre-COVID-19.

“It’s more beneficial to do that, albeit at a slight operating loss, but it’s beneficial to be open for the community and to keep that continuity in place,” he said.

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