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Santa Ana Produce Distributor Among Small Businesses Denied Paycheck Protection Loans

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) -- Help is finally available for small businesses that have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. However, some small business owners are struggling to get a loan under the federal government's new paycheck protection plan.

Ingardia Brothers produce distributor in Santa Ana employs 225 people. Owner Sam Ingardia said he is doing everything in his power to keep each one of them.

"I have never laid off one employee in 47 years and I'm not about to do it now," Ingardia said.

Ingardia Brothers primarily supplies restaurants, and the COVID-19 outbreak has caused business to plummet. Ingardia said that income is down 70 percent, and he needs a loan in order to pay his workforce.

Ingardia said he has used Wells Fargo for decades, but he was recently denied a federal loan from the bank that would help him keep his business afloat because he employs more than 50 workers.

"I am more than upset," Ingardia said.

Ingardia is not alone in running into issues when trying to receive much needed financial help.

MORE: Small Businesses Face Challenges While Applying For Paycheck Protection Program Loans

Friday marked the first day that small businesses could apply for federal loans through the $350 billion paycheck protection program, but some small businesses did not find they help they were looking for.

Randall Fabiano, owner of Vintage Print in Moorpark, went online just after midnight to apply for a loan but ran into a snag.

"I immediately was hit with a link because my business doesn't qualify because we don't have any outstanding debt with Bank of America," he said.

Georgia Scheible, a family therapist in Simi Valley, said she was also told by her bank, Union Bank, that she won't qualify at this time because she doesn't have an open line of credit.

"We are literally being sent to the back of the line," Scheible said. "Even though everyone including the mayor and president is saying we are here to help you, that's not really true."

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