SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - The overwhelming demand from small businesses has drained a $350 billion federal program, leaving a lot of small businesses across the Valley wondering how they will pay their employees. The money comes from the Paycheck Protection Program and business owners who filed applications are wondering if they'll be approved.

The Breakfast Joynt in Scottsdale is going through what every business is going through.

"It kind of feels like '08 when we first opened and saying, 'OK, you're going to start all over'', said The Breakfast Joynt's owner Becky Mazzocco.

Mazzocco decided to furlough her employees in fear of not being able to pay them. Mazzocco decided to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program in hopes of bringing her workers back.

"There was definitely an excitement," said Mazzocco. "By excitement, I mean we're going to weather this."

As of April 13, Arizona banks approved just under 11,000 of those loans worth $3.5 billion dollars, but the future is uncertain for Mazzocco and those whose application is still pending.

The US has no money left in the emergency loan program for small businesses

"Today, when I heard rumblings that it's already gone, it's already gone. It was disheartening," said Mazzocco.

Arizona Chamber of Commerce's Garrick Taylor said you could expect more people to be added to the ever-growing list for unemployment benefits. It's part of the reason why he's urging lawmakers in D.C. to add $250 billion to the program.

"The program was starting to get legs and lenders were starting to get comfortable," said Taylor. "Congress needs to put more money in."

The US has no money left in the emergency loan program for small businesses

Mazzocco hopes she can get some to pay her employees. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema advises small business owners if they've submitted an application, it should move through as soon as more funding is secured. That could come as early as next week. If business owners have not filed an application, her advice is to get all the documents together and apply as soon as there is funding.

 

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