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Local restaurant didn't lose enough business to get loan forgiveness

Greek to me
Posted at 10:58 PM, Jul 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-05 23:14:33-04

TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Vince Karem, a military veteran, and his restaurant Greek To Me fought through the pandemic, making sure every employee was paid regardless of the cut in sales.

"We kept everyone employed, taking it out of our pockets," Karem said.

Karem did a lot of that from his own expenses and through the first round of PPP loans. Those loans were fully forgiven. To make sure he could pay his staff similarly again, in addition to needed money coming in, he filed for another PPP loan. This time the loan forgiveness is looking unlikely. The reason? He lost 24% of his business year over year, not 25%.

"Basically if you're 24%, you didn't struggle as much as the people at 25% (according to the loan)," Karem said.

Greek To Me lost 24% of its business year over year, for loan forgiveness, they would have had to lose 25%. That 1% difference, Karem has been told, is non-negotiable.

"I was told it's a congressional law so there is no leeway whatsoever," Karem said.

Karem hopes to get some leeway, so that businesses like his are not shut out for losing 1% less business than desired.