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2 On Your Side: PPP Loans Slow To Reach Small Businesses

CORONA (CBSLA) - An Inland Empire business wants to know where their Payroll Protection Program money is after they applied and were approved last month.

T3 Motion builds electric standup vehicles for law enforcement and private security.

CEO William Tsumpes says they've kept all of their employees on payroll since the pandemic hit. Revenue is down due to COVID-19, so the company has been banking on a PPP loan.

"All of our employees, whether they've worked or not worked, have been on full time payroll, even on absent days," Tsumpes said.

A paper error kept them from securing a loan in the first round, but when round two opened up, T3 Motion got an email on April 30 saying they had been issued an SBA loan number.

A day later, they got another email saying they should fund within one to two days - but then weeks passed.

"Here we had an approved loan, we had signed the promissory note for the Treasury saying we were now responsible for the repayment of funds that we had yet to receive," said Tsumpes, adding he has yet to get an answer from Bank of America as to when the loan will fund.

The U.S. Treasury Department requires lenders to pay out the loan within 10 calendar days. It's now been 20.

Professor of Finance and Business Economics at USC Marshall Rodney Ramcharan says the answer is likely tied to banks being overwhelmed.

"These agencies have never done this before, so just think of the paperwork and the computers they need to keep track of all this, so it's awful difficult to get that volume of dollars out the door," Ramcharan said.

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released data that fewer than 40 percent of small businesses that applied for PPP loans actually received them.

A Bank of America spokesperson told 2 On Your Side they have escalated this case.

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