Typically, the bureaucracy fails to deliver. I knew this was going to happen because we live in a dog-eat-dog world. I learned a long time ago that when it comes to the government, it is never a good idea to pretend that things will work out. I have tried to bid on government work only to learn that it is not about the best product nor the best price, but rather it is about who has greased the government wheels the best. I have given up on the United States Post Office delivering the mail I need. The latest debacle with the stimulus monies legislation that is supposed to help the people and small businesses has been a failure. I am not surprised.

I previously wrote about how the United States Post Office lost not one, but three passports that were sent to my household. (link) One would think that a lost passport is something the government would care about, especially Homeland Security. But when I tried to do the right thing and let the government know that something is seriously wrong when passports coming from two different United States government agencies do not make it to my household within the same few weeks, no one seemed to care.

Try as tried to work with USPS and the government to resolve the issue everyone just told me to request another passport sent to us.

No one seemed to care that passports were lost!

So, when the USPS tells me to care about them going out of business, I do not. I think it might be a blessing in disguise.

When the stimulus programs were approved, I knew better than to believe they would work as promised.

As of today, I have not received the stimulus check everyone was promised.

I know why and I am not surprised.

Unlike most Americans, I do not give the government money to play with each year and anxiously wait in April of each year for my money to be sent to back to me. Instead, I do what most responsible money managers do, I figure out how much I am going to owe in taxes and I make the necessary deposits. I just pay enough to meet the law but not too much to get a refund at the end of the year.

In other words, I bank my money instead of letting the government bank it for me.

Because the government does not have the authority to send me the promised stimulus money via direct deposit I have to wait until the paper checks are printed, processed and mailed to me. Assuming the post office does not lose my stimulus check, I expect I will see it sometime in June or July.

In other words, doing the proper thing penalizes me because of the ineptitude of the bureaucracy.

As a small business owner, I thought that I should keep my payroll going even though, like almost all businesses, my revenues have suffered because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On April 2, I applied for the SBA Disaster Loan Assistance program. The Economic Disaster Program is supposed to give you an advance provided your credit score is reasonable and you meet the disaster designation. The advance is supposed to arrive at the bank within three days. My credit score is around 800, so there is no problem there. I met all the other requirements. I was also seeking less than $100,000 to keep the payroll going for as long as I can.

Although I received an “application number” I did not hear back from the SBA within the promised three days. Also, as soon as it opened, I also applied for the Paycheck Protection Program. Again, the amount was less than $100,000.

The SBA finally got back to me about my initial application. The response was sent to me on April 14, 12 days after I submitted my request. The SBA promised a response within three days. It took them 12 days. Instead of the $10,000 promised for each employee as an advance, they said that they would only provide $1,000 per employee. Note that the advance is only an advance on the loan request until the loan could be processed.

The notice from the SBA was telling me not to expect the promised $10,000 but only $1,000. It was also telling me not to expect the money soon as they are still sorting through the pending applications. I guess I may see $1,000 sometime in the next month, or two, if ever.

The bank also got back to me on Friday about the SBA PPP loan. The bank said that because the program had run of money they would not fund it. I am not surprised. But here is an interesting addendum from the bank.

The bank said that even if the government were to provide additional funding I would not be getting any of it because my request is so far down their list that it is unlikely I would receive any funding.

Remember that I applied as soon as the process was opened for applications.

So, who got the SBA loans?

Not small business like mine seeking $100,000 just to keep employees on the payroll. Nope, the “small” (yes, I use parentheses on purpose) businesses that got the loans are the multi-million companies that should be able to weather the economic crisis better than the small companies.

According to CBS News, one of the recipients of the SBA PPP loan was Ruth’s Chris House chain of restaurants. It is a publicly traded company with more than 5,000 employees. Remember that the SBA loans were supposed to go to companies with less than 500 employees. I had to attest, under the penalty of perjury, that I do not have more than 500 employees.

Ruth Chris has 5,000 or more employees so I will just sit back and wait to see what the government will do about that.

Nothing is what I suspect will happen.

Oh, in case you are wondering, Ruth’s got millions in PPP monies. Publicly traded companies got almost $250 million of the SBA money that was supposed to go to small businesses.

How do I know this? Because they are telling people they got the PPP money.

Guess what the government is saying about disclosing the list of “small” businesses that got the SBA loans. Nope, not going to happen.

I am not surprised at all….

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...