Prioritizing payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic

December 10, 2020

Vic Moea and Homero Aviles, owners of Sinful Subs in Las Vegas, worked in stride to make the most of the Payment Protection Program (PPP) so they could keep their entire staff on payroll through the economic uncertainty of COVID-19.

Many small business owners are facing financial uncertainty as COVID-19 continues to make it difficult to serve clients and customers as they once did. In order to stay afloat, businesses have had to take out government loans to cover expenses like rent, supplies and payroll. However, when there are so many expenses to take care of, it can be hard to know which ones to prioritize if you do qualify for assistance. On top of all of that, getting your business in the best position to apply for a loan isn’t always a straightforward journey.

Vic Moea and Homero Aviles, owners of Sinful Subs in Las Vegas, Nevada, ran into both issues as they worked to keep their popular sandwich shop up and running. Vic and Homero decided to apply for Payment Protection Program (PPP) that would give them the tools they needed to meet their ultimate goal: keeping every staff member at their restaurant on payroll.

“When we initially had to close, our focus was on feeding people — the people who were on our payroll,” Vic said. “Secondly, rent. We didn’t know how things were going to pan out when restaurant owners where having a hard time paying their rent.”

There are lots of variables lenders consider when they look at a loan application and understanding how each of them should be presented can be tricky. As they worked on applying for a loan, they worked with their banker to position Sinful Subs in the best possible light.

“When we initially had to close, our focus was on feeding people — the people who were on our payroll. Secondly, rent.”

Vic submitted the application and Sinful Subs was approved for a loan, but the next step was figuring out how to prioritize using the funds. When it comes to the Payment Protection Program (PPP), there’s guidance from the Small Business Administration (SBA) small business owners can follow as they decide how to use their funds. Getting your financial documentation in order and deciding what you’re going to use the funds for in advance are important first steps that they and other business owners have had to carefully iron out.

Ultimately, they received the Payment Protection Program (PPP) and got the funds they needed to keep Sinful Subs up and running, and the loan money was primarily used for payroll and rent. Most notably, their quick work on securing a loan meant there was no lapse in pay for employees of Sinful Subs. “Not only did the money help us keep things up and running when we couldn’t have the dining room open, it also helped us invest in supplies that kept customers safe,” Vic said.

Sinful Subs is on track financially, and Vic and Homero are working on opening their second restaurant. Vic feels enthusiastic about the future. “We’re excited to open our second restaurant, and that operations at Sinful Subs are running smoothly.”


Continue reading more stories about how small business owners navigated unprecedented times.

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