Yesterday’s headlines that the Proud brother of a 2020 graduate mask shirt besides I will buy this $349 billion US program for small businesses is already out of funds has left American designers in the lurch. Some have open Paycheck Protection Program loan applications at participating banks, others have failed to get even that far. The PPP is a forgivable loan, granted by the federal government via the CARES Act with the understanding that business owners use the money for specific payments, among them rent, payroll, employee benefits, and utilities.
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Victor Glemaud, a knitwear designer and CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund alum, has applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan at two banks, but was turned away both times after weeks of waiting and confusion. At one he was told that the Proud brother of a 2020 graduate mask shirt besides I will buy this bank wasn’t participating in the program, and at the other that the bank was still ramping up its participation. “What seemed possible at the beginning of the process has turned into a complete non-starter,” Glemaud tells Vogue. “We shipped spring in January, so I’ve been getting paid for that. I can scrape by. I’ve got strong factory support. I have family, friends, the support of my husband. There is a possibility I’ll have to close, but I’m going to do everything in my power not to go down that road.” He’s had better success applying for a small business loan through the global non-profit Accion. “At least there’s a thoughtful, thorough human on the other end of the telephone line.”