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Frustration Grows for Bay Area Small Businesses Unable to Get Federal Financial Aid

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Frustrated small business owners in the Bay Area continue to wait on federal bailout money from the coronavirus pandemic.

Many owners said they have been trying to keep employees on the payroll, pay their rent, and keep doors open during the crisis. But owners add they feel ignored by their banks.

Experts advise small business owners to keep pressing and consider other ways to get money.

Oren's Hummus is one of the many Bay Area businesses struggling and has already cut the majority of its staff.

Many small business owners who applied for a life line from the federal government in the first paycheck protection program are still left empty handed. Jean Elle reports.

Mistie Cohen, Oren's Hummus co-owner, said they are anxiously waiting for money from the federal payroll protection plan.

"Our San Francisco location is a big struggle for us with high rent up there, and we've considered having to close that location because if we can't get the payroll protection plan funding to help us through this challenging time, we may be left with no choice," Cohen said.

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Oren's Hummus, like many small businesses, has been playing a waiting game with billions in federal dollars being paid out through banks running out.

But there are options.

Cities and counties are making some money available.

Tech giant Salesforce has set aside $5 million for small businesses. Facebook said it will pay out $15 million in small business grants. And experts said for owners to not give up on the banks just yet.

"They may still have your file waiting for more funding to open up," said Amelia Linde, manager of small business police with the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. "Those financial institutions where you applied should be actively communicating with you. And if not, you should reach out to see if there's any developments on their side."

The Senate on Tuesday passed a $448 billion relief bill to help, among other things, small businesses. Now many small businesses that did not get any money from the first stimulus bill are hoping they are not overlooked a second time.

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