PENDLETON –
The National Federation of Independent Business says the severity of economic disruptions in the small business sector is quickly increasing the immediate demand for financial assistance.

The NFIB says the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and associated policy responses has negatively impacted 90% of small business owners, including The Bank Restaurant in Pendleton.

“Right now, we’re looking at just a few more weeks until we’ll be forced to shut our doors,” said Robin Brammer, who co-owns the restaurant with her husband.

Brammer says she has applied for the two federal bailout programs being overseen by the Small Business Administration, including the Paycheck Protection Program.  The PPP was rolled out April 3.

She’s also applied for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program which is part of the CARES Act.

The trade association says both programs offer what it calls generous eligibility, but payment is still forthcoming.

“They’ve been promised relief, and I don’t know a single small business owner that’s received it yet,” said Barbara Quandt, NFIB State Director in Indiana. “These folks need help right now.”

NFIB’s survey of its membership shows about 70% of small business owners tried to apply for the PPP loan with varying degrees of success. Of the 30% who have not actively tried to apply, one-third said they plan to apply in the next month and 36% are considering it.

The nationwide survey of NFIB members was conducted April 6-7. It collected 884 usable responses.