CHARLOTTE – While North Carolina and many other states continue to relax COVID-19 related pandemic orders so that business can reopen, many may not be able to welcome back customers. Why? Cash – the lack thereof – despite the availability of billions in federal Paycheck Protection Plan loans.

In a survey of more than 900 small businesses, Charlotte-based LendingTree says that 46 percent of respondents cite lack of funding as the primary reason they may not be able to resume operations.

Adding to their concerns are questions about whether they will be eligible for loan forgiveness if they received PPP loans. And many of the businesses surveyed did in fact secure a loan.

While 44 percent of businesses that applied received loans, 3 percent returned the funds due to concerns about forgiveness which focuses on employee retention and how much can be spent on expenses other than payrolls.

And at businesses that will reopen, 39 percent of openers said they may not be able to generate enough revenue to “make reopening worthwile.” They cited such things as limits on capacity and costs associated with cleaning.

LendingTree graphic

“I feel a multitude of emotions,” one respondent told LendingTree. “Completely unsure of how my salon will remain open without rents being reduced [and with] less customers. Even if we have the clientele, we have to abide by social distances, which in turn equals less space [and] less customer intake.”

Read the full reoprt online.