Small business owners struggle to get access to capital

Small business owners struggle to get access to capital

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - At Java’s Brewing Bakery and Café owner Joyce Zhrian says the wait for customers can be like a slow drip.

“There have been days I have wanted to lay down in the street but there’s nobody there to drive over me it’s so quiet,” Zhrian said.

It’s takeout only because of the stay-at-home order. And while waiting for customers she’s applied for business grants and loans. Like The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation Save Small Business Fund.

But when she entered her business zip code in Waxhaw she was informed she doesn’t qualify because it’s not in a distressed community.

“It shouldn’t be based on the socioeconomics around me, it should be based on I’m a small business in need,” Zhrian said.

A statement from a Chamber Foundation spokesperson read “we meet our charitable mission by focusing on economically vulnerable communities.”

“Zip codes that are considered economically prosperous (top 20%) by the Index were excluded to ensure that the fund is serving businesses in places that have fewer resources to withstand a crisis.”

Zrihan says she’s applied for other loans with the Small Business Administration too but hasn’t received a response yet. She feels like she’s at a disadvantage to many of the chain stores that serve as competition.

“Their bookkeeper or accountant is going online and doing it where I’m calling my bookkeeper and going ‘for god’s sakes can you freaking help me out’,” Zhrian said.

North Carolina Congressman Patrick McHenry says these SBA loans have been effective but acknowledges more still needs to be done to help small businesses.

“We’ve taken unprecedented action and I think we’ll have to take additional action in order to get back to a recovery phase,” Congressman McHenry said.

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