Cramer, a restaurant owner, says the government shut us down; it should help

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Based on his experience as a restaurant owner, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Friday the U.S. government was committed to helping small businesses shut down during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I had a shop that was closed. It went great and one day I found out that I was closed, ”said Cramer in“ Squawk on the Street ”. “You better help.”

Cramer owns Bar San Miguel and is a co-owner of The Longshoreman. Both are in Brooklyn, New York.

Moderator Mad Money’s comments on Friday came on the launch day of a $ 350 billion government program to help small business owners trying to cope with the economic shock caused by the coronavirus.

The program, created as part of the $ 2 trillion economic aid package passed last month, creates potentially forgivable credit for small businesses.

The Small Business Administration works with banks and other financial institutions like credit unions to extend the loans – portions of which can be extended when used for expenses like payroll.

On the first day of the program, there is great uncertainty for both lenders and potential borrowers.

Bank of America became the first major US bank to announce its loan portal was up, but others like Wells Fargo and Citigroup didn’t accept applications on Friday morning. JPMorgan Chase’s small business portal became available shortly after 1:00 p.m.

Despite the tough start to the loan program, Cramer said, small business owners who are thinking of closing their businesses permanently should “reconsider their plan.”

He said he understood the confusion about exactly how to access the loans, but advised small business owners to call their banker or a community bank first.

Cramer also mentioned the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, which was modified during the COVID-19 crisis and essentially includes a $ 10,000 grant.

Business owners only need to apply for a “loan advance” in their EIDL application. The advance payment does not have to be repaid.

“This is a $ 10,000 grant that is driving you not to keep your business open. I am not joking. You have to keep your business open, ”said Cramer.

He said he also admits he has the financial resources to weather the coronavirus storm better than most restaurant owners. “I have the money to do it. I’m lucky. I’m blessed,” he said.

However, the burden of helping all small business owners rests with the government, Cramer said.

“These people have businesses and for God’s sake they have been shut down by the government, so the government has to do something. It’s just right,” Cramer said.

“You have to do that, because that is the basis. Not President Trump’s base. But the base of America, ”he added.

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