Still Waiting on Your Loans? Join the Club.

Originally Published : April 16, 2020

Aaaaaaaaaaaand….. SCENE

Dear HL Clients,

Nothing really to discuss today.  Just another lovely afternoon in hermitville.  The sun was shining, the birds were chirping and then Congress took a roaring Ruth’s Chris dump all over our industry.  Lovely right?

Chuck, Nancy, Mitch, would you please cut the crap already and work it out.  Really, just for this one issue, make it work and replenish the pppot and give us something to work with or it’s going to be bread lines and soup kitchens and absolute anarchy.  

Oh, right, we are supposed to have patience. Sorry about that. Our bad. We will wait while you squabble over this and that and battle for political points and lose all credibility with us.  Said Mark Twain: Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.

Let’s unload all this angst and agita that we are carrying. Here is Chuck Shumer’s email. For goodness sake, write him a note and let him know how you feel:

Here’s what I wrote.  I tried to keep it classy because I don’t think Chuck likes vulgarity and I’m an attorney and all but you can be much, much more colorful.

Dear Senator Shumer,

Doyou realize how many of your constituents run restaurants and bars?  Of course you do sir.  So, if you can accomplish anything whatsoever in Congress these days, can you please ensure that you replenish the PPP right now?  Like today? Because every day you wait is a day that will result in another hundred NY restaurants closing their doors and another thousand jobs lost and another million dreams broken.

The hospitality industry breaks its back for New York.  Can you please return the favor?

David Helbraun

I tried all angles.  Respect, guilt, sentimentality, hyperbole. If enough of us say something maybe he will hear us. He certainly won’t if we keep it to ourselves.

 Joey Regs says:

Only 10% of the money earmarked for the PPP ($349 Billion) has actually been dispersed as of this afternoon. That means that there is significant reason for hope if your loan is already in process and you just haven’t gotten your golden ticket yet. 

It’s the big commercial banks that are letting people down here.  As of today, 54% of the money that has been dispersed already has come from local, community banks.  The leader, amongst the big boys is Chase at a scant 9%.  Bank of America, the first bank to open for business, is at 1%.  There’s too much shame to go around here, to actually even waste the time doling it out.

This morning, the SBA announced that the EIDL loan portal is closed, effective immediately.  They’re overdrawn, they didn’t plan appropriately, blah blah blah.  They THINK they’ll be able to get to every application that’s come in thus far, the question is just, will they have enough scrilla to go around, and will it be worthwhile.  More non-committal jibber jabber – but that seems to be the common theme today

Joey Regs Out

UPDATE: Sidewalk Cafe License by Alexa Santory

Because of COVID, the DCA is extending the expiration date for sidewalk cafe licenses to June 30, 2020, and the deadline for renewal applications to August 28, 2020. This is good news for any businesses that have been closed since this all started and gives them plenty of time to submit their documents for when things get back to normal.

That’s a wrap from the set of Comedy Central.  Brought to you by the SBA and Congress.

Good night,


P.S. Here are the results of HL poll just so you can know how your fellow restaurant owners are feeling.

When do you think your restaurant will be allowed to open for business?
October or later7% 

According to your calculations, once you reopen, how much would you have to reduce your current rent in order to stay in business for the following 6 months.
No Change7% 
Over 50%42% 
If your landlord does not lower your rent, would you consider handing back the keys and closing shop
Not Sure31% 
What is your optimism level that one year from now you will still be in business?
High – no sweat, I’m a business genius and will figure this all out.16% 
Low – it would be a miracle.18% 
Medium – if the government has our back, we can make it.67%