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Bank rep comes to rescue of SWFL small business owner in need of loan

When Tony Pezza’s phone rang a few days back, “at first I thought it was a telemarketer, to be quite honest with you,” he said.

It wasn’t. It was a bank rep who had seen our story with Pezza—a small business owner badly in need of a loan from the feds.

His bank capped out of the PPP loan program. The phone call was an answer.

“She explained she saw the interview you did just a day or two prior, and she said she thinks her bank might be able to help,” Pezza said.

It turns out, they could. After convincing Pezza she wasn’t there to scam him, Amy McQuagge with Sanibel Captiva Community Bank connected Tony to the right folks to get it all started.

Amy McQuagge (WINK News)

“It’s been really amazing experience for me, personally, to be on the end of saying yes to somebody, saying okay, we can help you,” she said.

The loan was approved and was a way for Pezza to pay the few employees he’s been able to hold onto.

“I’ll probably use 100% of that for payroll. You’re supposed to use 75% for payroll but I’ll probably use all of it for payroll,” Pezza said.

However, he says the loan will only keep his grout and tile cleaning company good for eight more weeks, so he’s among those asking Governor DeSantis to open Florida back up.

I don’t believe people are comprehending the amount of bankruptcies they are gonna happen with small businesses,” he said.

No matter what happens, Pezza will always remember the bank manager who helped him when no one else would,

“I’m sure he’s never gonna forget my name and I’m never gonna forget his,” McQuagge said.

Cleaning services are considered an essential business, but the owner says he’s struggling because he believes people are not comfortable letting people into their homes unless it’s an emergency.

Reporter:Sydney Persing
Writer:Briana Harvath
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