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SWFL business owner says his bank no longer providing fed-guaranteed loans

A small business owner is already facing a tough time, as he is dealt with another blow amid the coronavirus pandemic. One bank says it no longer has the cash to hand out for small business loans. We looked at what the local business owner is doing as he tries to make a living.

Tony Pezza of Follow the Sun Cleaning in Collier County has been cleaning tiles and steaming carpets since 1985.

“It’s a lot of hard hours,” Pezza said. “When you own a small business, you get out of it what you put into it.”

Pezza has been operating 34 years in the tile and grout game.

“It’s like someone pulled the plug out of the wall the last three weeks,” Pezza said. “Its’ very slow.”

It’s never been this bad for his business.

“This is why it’s so imperative to try and get these loans established that we’re trying to do,” Pezza said. “And it’s certainly not as easy as they make it out to be.”

Pezza has been banking with Wells Fargo for 25 years, and the bank is no longer taking applications for Paycheck Protection Program loans that were guaranteed by the federal government. When he tried applying online this weekend, he came across a message that said, “We’ll update you when we can continue the application process … As soon as we start accepting applications, we’ll add the link on this page.”

But, Sunday night, the bank said no more. It had received enough applications to reach the $10 billion maximum allowed.

“Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and it shows the application is coming soon, coming soon,” Pezza said. “So how could they reach a $10 billion cap?”

Pezza is trying to go to other banks.

“Nobody is taking the PPP program unless you’re a client of theirs,” Pezza said.

And one important question.

“Where do I go?” Pezza said.

Right now, it’s a question with no answer.

Reporter:Sydney Persing
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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