Is this the “Small Business Relief” they promised?

New information has emerged on the ongoing battle for self-employed individuals to qualify for the benefits that were promised by the President and Congress through the CARES Act on March 21st. The unkept promises and continuous rules changes and system breakdowns have left millions of small business owners scratching their heads, wondering how they are supposed to tap into these so-called “benefits” and actually see the money appear.

“Show me the money” Cuba Gooding Jr in Jerry Maguire

If they were a private business the government would close them down for false advertising. The “free” $10,000 EIDL advance that was to be deposited into small business owners accounts in 3 days has yet to show up in anyone’s accounts that I know of. As far as I know, nobody has even received an acknowledgment that their application was received.

As it turns out, the “Free” money is based on the # of employees you have. What they marketed was a $10,000 loan advance for all applicants, even if denied for the loan. What they failed to mention was that in order to receive the advance you had to qualify to fill out the loan application. There was no quick, easy, free money as suggested.

Today we learned that the unemployment benefits promised to self-employed individuals would be delayed while the states create a new system to handle the applications. This leaves anyone that’s tried to apply in a state of limbo, not know if or when they will see the money. This from the state of California website

“Note: Because this is a brand new program, each state will need time to develop all of the necessary system programming, forms, processes, and procedures. This page will be updated as information becomes available, including when and how to apply for these benefits. Once this new complex program is built and staffed, it will likely rival the size of the regular UI program the EDD already administers.”

Also “When to File a Claim We have a dedicated team working around the clock with state partners to build this new program as quickly as possible. The EDD will begin accepting online applications for this program on Tuesday, April 28. This page will be updated with instructions for filing a claim for PUA benefits when details become available.” I’m so glad they finally put together a dedicated team and that they will be accepting applications as soon as April 28th.

Also this for the state of California

“If you are unsure if you are an independent contractor or an employee who could be eligible for benefits, file for regular Unemployment Insurance benefits and we will determine your eligibility. After you have filed, refer to our step-by-step UI claims process. You’ll learn what to expect and the actions you need to take through the course of your claim for receiving benefit payments as long as you’re eligible.”

The good news is that in CA you may get:

“Up to 39 weeks of benefits starting with weeks of unemployment beginning February 2, 2020, through the week ending December 31, 2020, depending on when you became directly impacted by the pandemic. An additional $600 to each PUA weekly benefit amount you may be eligible to receive, as part of the separate CARES Act Pandemic Additional Compensation program. Only the weeks of a claim between March 29 and July 31 are eligible for the extra $600 payments.”

It would have been nice if they had made this info clear before millions of self-employed individuals struggled to apply. Now, this information may have been available in the bill but why wasn’t it posted on every state website? Why did the polls and people in power let us know?

I’ve always taken government promises with a grain of salt but they have risen to new lows. How can anyone trust what they promise after this debacle? It’s time that the real small business owners voiced their frustration and total dissatisfaction with unfulfilled promises, misleading information, and total system breakdowns. How in the world can the “Small Business” Administration say that a “small business” can have up to 499 employees????

The TRUTH is that a very, very small % of small businesses never even hire anyone. Out of 30,000,000 USA based businesses over 25,000,000 are sole-proprietors and millions more are solo-preneurs like myself. Incorporated entities that only employ ourselves. We are THE small businesses, not entities up to 499 employees. It’s a political sham and it’s time that it’s recognized for what it is. The SBA does not help us. Very few small businesses ever qualify for their 7A loans and the ones that do have to jump through numerous hoops and spend thousands of dollars on accounting fees.

It’s no wonder why over 98% of new businesses fail. Our system is flawed and they have been massaging the numbers for years making it seem like the people in power are doing a great job. The system is stacked against the real small business owners and it’s time we stop letting them get away with it! I for one have had it.

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