Government Loans May Not Be Enough to Keep Houston Businesses Afloat

Despite Congress approving billions of dollars more for the Paycheck Protection Program, small business owners in Houston are worried they might never recover from the economic downturn.

Layoffs, furloughs, and reduced hours are all too common. Still, small and independent businesses here in Houston are struggling to survive. Clayton Harkey is owner of Twisted Arrow Goods, which sells tailor-made leather goods. He says he applied for government PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loans as soon as he could, but no money come his way.

“I’m not sitting around waiting for [the U.S. Small Business Administration] to do something, which has given me a little bit more hope and a little bit more drive to continue to try to make money on my own. It’s still very frustrating. I haven’t heard from anyone about anything,” Harkey said.

Harkey says he’s not looking for a big payout. He said just five thousand dollars would go a long way. He and the three people who work with him are making face masks for now, but he knows that market won't last for long. A recent survey by the business leaders with the Greater Houston Partnership find local restaurants, retail, and hotels are hurting for cash.

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