LA Restauranteur Receives 1.5M From North Carolina-Based Bank As Business Owners Wait For Payroll Protection Program Loans

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — As business owners wait for the second round for small business loans, some are finding success in getting loans from smaller specialty banks.

Last month, Emil Eyvazoff was forced to close his two downtown Los Angeles restaurants, 71 Above and Takami Sushi.

As soon as congress announced the Payroll Protection Program, Eyvazoff looked to his business bank to get in line for a loan.

“We laid off over 200 employees on March 15th,” said Eyvazoff. “They were still putting the program together and then because it’s a larger bank, there is such high demand and volume.”

Eyvazoff figured his chances for a loan were slim so he found a small bank based out of North Carolina that only does small business loans.

“So it’s the equivalent, instead of going to see a general practitioner for this PPP loan, you’re going to a specialist,” he said.

He contacted Live Oak Bank on April 8 and submitted his documents the next day.

“Then the following day, on the 10th, they had SBA approval,” said Eyvazoff.

Ten days later, Eyvazoff had his loan, receiving 1.5 million for his two businesses, 75 percent of which is going to payroll.

“All of the employees will get almost their full pay whether they’re salaried or hourly and tip employees,” he said.

As of April 16, the Small Business Administration reported that over 1.6 million PPP loans were given out.

California received about $100 thousand of those loans, for a total of $33.4 billion.

The average loan size was about $200 thousand.

“I thought sharing the experience with other small business owners, other restauranteurs in this position get access to that second round because I feel like that second round is only going to last maybe a week,” said Eyvazoff.

The money Eyvazoff received will cover payroll, rent, and expenses for wight weeks, until mid-June.

If the closure goes beyond that, or people don’t go out to eat once closures lift, Eyvazoff said he will be in trouble again.