MISSION, Texas — The Payment Protection Program is out of money.
This is a devastating blow for small businesses across the United States including the Rio Grande Valley.
One of the businesses effected is the family restaurant The Whistling Duck, a hot spot for locals.
Thursday night’s at The Whistling Duck Restaurant in Mission means live music and half price beer.
“Thursday is one of our busier days, honestly every day we have something going on, live music, DJ’s,” said Jamie Morales, one of the owners of Whistling Duck.
But that wasn’t the case this Thursday.
“It’s hard to walk in now, you see the place empty after all the years of spending to build this up,” said Morales.
One of the busiest days of the year for the restaurant was anything but.
“St. Patricks Day is one of our busiest days of the year,” said Morales,”But this year, the following day we decided to shut down.
They tried curbside, but it wasn’t enough.
“We didn’t have the success to support our employees to make it viable,” said Morales.
So they tried applying for PPP, the federal loan that was supposed to help small business keep their doors open and help pay their employees.
“We were going through the process for the Payroll Protection Program, because we wanted to be able to pay our employees, we wanted to still help them pay their own bills,” said Morales.
But Thursday morning, the Small Business Administration announced they ran out of funds.
“It seemed like things were going well but then we heard, hey the money’s run out,” said Morales.
“The SBA has processed more than 14 years’ worth of loans in less than 14 days. By law, the SBA will not be able to issue new loan approvals once the programs experience a lapse in appropriations. We urge Congress to appropriate additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Program,” said a spokesperson for SBA.
For now, like many other small business owners, Morales waits and hopes this pandemic doesn’t mean his doors stay shut forever.
“The hardest part is the uncertainty, because we hear the things that come into play, we’ve heard that if and when we’re allowed to re-open maybe it’ll be half the capacity, we have to do everything to ensure the safety of not only our employees but our customers as well,” said Morales.
Uncertainty or not, the laid back hidden gem in Mission remains hopeful.
Every Saturday and Sunday from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm, the restaurant is serving barbacoa curbside.
The money made from the sales goes straight to employees.