Making It in the Bay

Bay Area Pizza Shop Receives Much-Needed Financial Aid

NBC Universal, Inc.

For weeks, small business owners in the Bay Area have been frustrated, desperately trying to get federal and state financial aid to survive the coronavirus crisis, and a popular pizza shop finally received the much-needed help.

A Slice of New York Pizza applied for the PPP loan and other loans and grants and after weeks of worries, their direct deposit appeared. 

The restaurant, with locations in Santa Clara and Sunnyvale, employs 34 workers, a weekly payroll of $26,000, plus rent and utilities. 

“It just showed up in our account $245,000,” said founder Kirk Vartan. “My wife jumped up and down. We both did.”

The PPP loan is at 1% interest and the first payment isn’t due for seven months. Then, hours later, the shop found out it will also get a disaster relief grant of at least $10,000.

“This gives us the freedom to know that no matter what the economic situation is, we can pay our guys,” said Vartan.

Workers say they’re relieved, having seen so many other businesses go under.

“I feel incredibly lucky and grateful, and my heart goes out to my friends who have been laid off,” said restaurant operator Jorge Rojas.

Customers are happy as well.

“We’re stuck,” said Sunnyvale resident Jimmy Lambo. “So it’s kind of nice to be able to get out and enjoy these smaller businesses again and give us that sense of a normal life that we once had.”

The pizza shop also found out if it can show the money was used for payroll, rent and utilities, most or all of the federal loan will be forgiven.

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