A finance professor’s struggle to apply for the small business loan
Ten days later banks have started accepting small business loan applications Suffering from the coronavirus pandemic, Israel Shaked was still trying to file his claim.
“There is very little advice,” he said. “I don’t know how small businesses do this.”
As a member of historic $ 2.2 trillion stimulus package Congress passed at the end of March to grease an economy in near containment, there is a 349 billion dollars in money where small business owners can apply for forgivable loans to hopefully keep their employees paid throughout the crisis. The funds, available on a first come, first served basis, were supposed to be easy to request, through a simple, two page form.
Israel and Varda shaken
Source: Israel and Varda Shaked
Still, Shaked said the process was anything but simple and took him and his wife Varda days as they struggled to locate documents and navigate online platforms. bulky. His frustration with the demand is surely felt by millions of other business owners across the country who are hungry for quick financial relief to help them avoid having to lay off dozens of workers or to close their doors for good.
In reality? “We have heard from a number of small businesses that are having a lot of issues just during the application process.”
These delays could be disastrous, Wade added. In a recent survey by the association, half of small businesses said under current economic conditions they would not survive more than two months.
“We are working closely with clients to gather the information required by the government in order to process the requests,” said Bill halldin, spokesperson for Bank of America. He added that the bank issued a list of questions and answers about the process to help guide small business owners.
April 3 – “the very first day he was available” – Shaked asked Bank of America for one of the new small business loans. Everything seemed to be going well.
“The way they presented it, I thought it would be a piece of cake,” Shaked said.
The pandemic has hurt his consulting firm, The Michel-Shaked group, which has been in existence since 1980.
“It’s like someone is putting all the stuff in the freezer,” Shaked said. He asked for about $ 200,000 from Bank of America, mostly in the hope that he wouldn’t have to fire one of its 20 staff.
“Employees are like family, and you don’t put family members on leave,” Shaked said.
Yet within days of submitting that initial request to Bank of America, he received a request for documents from a company he had never heard of: Intraliens. Without knowing anything about this company, he was worried about downloading his sensitive financial data.
“I saw a lot of gossip on the internet, someone saying, ‘I went to Bank of America and found another business. Is it fraud? “” Shaked said.
Halldin, the spokesperson for Bank of America, sent a link to a web page explaining the bank’s relationship with Intralinks, but it is clear that it might be difficult for someone to find this information on their own.
Concerned about the future of his business, Shaked proceeded and filled out the forms with Intralinks.
When he was done, he noticed another problem. “There was no place to press submit,” he said.
He called his wife, Varda, a computer scientist who has spent two decades developing artificial intelligence systems.
She too was perplexed. Almost three hours later, the two figured out how to submit the request. They had to save the documents first and then upload them again to another location. At his web page About Intralinks, Bank of America explains this 10-step process.
Still, Shaked was on edge. The request required him to submit a tax form that he did not have access to from his home in Brookline, Massachusetts. “If you don’t leave the house and these forms are in the office, how do you get them? ” he said.
Finally, he found a way. He asked ADP, the payroll company, to send the form to their home. This, however, cost him days. Even now, Bank of America is requiring tax information for 2020 which Shaked said ADP has yet to prepare.
In the meantime, he has submitted his candidacy and hopes that she will still get the green light.
“It’s a race,” Shaked said. “Every day they talk about how fast the funds go. We don’t know if it’s too late. “