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New data points show growing SF small business debt crisis

Fiachra O’Shaughnessy, manager of McTigues Saloon on Polk Street, said he believes the government has been unable to complete his business since its lengthy closure during the Covid emergency. I shook my head with a face that couldn’t be done.

The bar was one of more than 60% of applicants for the $28.6 billion Restaurant Rejuvenation Fund (RRF), a federal restaurant relief pool established in March 2021, but the program yielded nothing. did not. O’Shaughnessy had received money from his previous Paycheck Protection Program, but combined with the warning that the bar would be mandated to close and that he would have to spend a certain amount on wages, McTeigue earned $220,000 from the federal PPP. More than his quarter of his money was not paid. Not allowed. The bill is set to expire in June as the bar continues to drop at about 40% of its pre-pandemic level, O’Shaughnessy said.

As hopes for more federal aid fade, so does the cash from the $750,000 economic damage disaster loan Barr took to weather the pandemic. It is a symbol of a seething debt crisis that threatens to blow and wipe out small businesses.

“There are many people in the same boat as us,” said O’Shaughnessy. “And then there are those who made an even bigger mistake, and she took out a house loan twice. They’re going to have an even tougher time with this.”

The SF New Deal, a nonprofit founded during the pandemic to help San Francisco’s small businesses, has released a statement on how mounting debt burdens are hampering the recovery after more than two years of pandemic-related hurdles. published a new study.

Among other efforts, the nonprofit implemented a $1 million grant program, providing $2,500 in grants to 400 companies. The program targets undervalued businesses and businesses with five or fewer employees than her. A follow-up survey of these recipients found that about a quarter had debts of at least $150,000 and 12% owed her $300,000 or more to creditors. 37% of SMBs surveyed cite building up debt as their biggest challenge.

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Rising interest rates are exacerbating a bad situation, with small businesses battling rising debt burdens coupled with inflation-driven commodity price hikes. In response, the report advocates increasing funding for relief measures such as subsidies and tax credits, as well as strengthening accounting, legal and other support.

Without additional relief, a wave of personal bankruptcies and even home foreclosures would be all but inevitable for those who were living off personal loans, said Laurie Thomas, executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association. said no.

“Restaurant and similar businesses are very similar to marriage,” said Thomas. “It may look great from the outside, but you never know what’s going on under the surface.”

Contact Kevin Truong at: [email protected].

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