May 02, 2020
The NYT had its second piece in a week on how business owners can’t use the money from the paycheck protection program (PPP) to build their businesses. While it is understandable that business owners would like a handout from the government, that is not the purpose of the PPP.
The point of the PPP is to get workers their paychecks, or at least a large fraction thereof, not to support businesses. The businesses are essentially an intermediary. It should be a large help to these businesses to be able to keep workers on their payroll and have their rent covered, but the program is not designed to get businesses through the crisis, it’s designed to get their workers through.
For some reason, the NYT and much of the rest of the media can’t seem to understand this point. Obviously many businesses will struggle to get through this crisis, and a lot won’t make it, but the PPP is not designed for this purpose. This is not news.