KC metro's small businesses in limbo with pandemic financial relief

Lawmakers in Washington spar with Trump
Succotash restaurant.jpg
STUFF Brookside store.jpg
Posted at 6:08 PM, Dec 27, 2020

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Small businesses in the Kansas City metro are counting on another COVID-19 relief bill to stay afloat as the pandemic continues into the new year. And it's a waiting game they don't want to play.

"We’re patiently waiting, but, like, we need it," Claudia Griggs, Succotash assistant manager, said.

Another round of Paycheck Protection Program loans cannot come fast enough for Griggs.

"With winter coming up, it’s nerve racking," she said. "This is our slow season, and we’re already doing less than half of what we were doing before."

The relief bill passed Congress, but President Donald Trump has called for more money in the first payments to Americans.

“Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries and lobbyist and special interests while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it," Trump said in a Twitter video.

These small businesses ultimately are caught in the middle.

"If they want many of the restaurant that you love, like Succotash, that bill should really be signed," Griggs said.

Even with the COVID-19 vaccine roll out, it could be a while before restrictions are lifted and for small businesses to earn as much as they did pre-pandemic, adding to the urgency of additional relief.

"I don’t know if you can recoup the kind of loss that small business took last year," Sloane Simmons, the co-owner of Brookside business Stuff, said.

Simmons told 41 Action News they had to cut back on staff to help make ends meet.

"We’ve stayed open, let’s put it that way," Simmons said.

They're looking at lawmakers in Washington, D.C., to help out small businesses before it's too late.

"Get it done, do your work," Simmons said.

Members of the House are expected to meet on Monday to vote on an increase to direct payments, which would raise payments for individuals from $600 to $2,000.

If passed and Trump does not sign off, a government shutdown could begin Monday night.