A beautiful late April weekend is the kind of event that Simon McDonald usually always looks forward to.
“This outside patio would be full, we’d be packed,” McDonald said.
The co-owner of The Libertine Bar instead on Sunday looked at another weekend without any meaningful sales along Lower Greenville.
“It’s definitely sad,” McDonald said. “This is definitely everyone’s peak time of year.”
The Libertine utilizes the food-to-go option three nights a week but McDonald estimates he makes about 1% of traditional sales. A 99% dropoff in business isn’t enough to pay for one employee, much less the 25 McDonald is responsible for.
“We want to keep them all,” McDonald said.
McDonald applied for the Paycheck Protection Program, the $340 billion effort passed by Congress to provide relief for small businesses. The money was exhausted in four to six days.
The Libertine got nothing while well-known national chains received millions in forgivable loans.
On Inside Texas Politics on Sunday, U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, TX-12, said that was a mistake.
“The banks should be held accountable for using this money as the Congress intended,” Granger said.
On Friday, another infusion of relief came from Congress, pumping another $310 billion into the PPP. It’s expected to last perhaps one or two weeks.
McDonald just needs enough to pay his staff for eight weeks and help with rent.
“We have to get the loan or we’ll be in bad shape,” McDonald said.
For now, he’s waiting again.
“They (the bank) say ‘we’ve received your application, we’re still processing hundreds of thousands. When you hear more you’ll know more’,” McDonald said. “I think we can make it. I hope so.”