Senator Blumenthal hopes some of $130B in Paycheck Protection Program will go to minority-owned businesses


HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — After starts and stops, and worries the money would run out, there’s $130 billion left in the Paycheck Protection Program.

Congress just extended it for a little while longer. Senator Richard Blumenthal is hoping that money will go to minority-owned, small businesses.

Jason Teal doesn’t just feed his regulars at Bomb Wings and Rice on Whitney Avenue. The Hamden restaurateur feeds thousands of Connecticut kids through his charity Change the Play. But at the start of the pandemic, he was worried he wouldn’t be able to do either.

“It’s really fulfilling work, and I love doing what we do,” said Teal.

Teal said the federal PPP has helped him keep all 13 of his workers and keep feeding his customers. So Friday, he joined Senator Blumenthal to call on community-based lenders to help other businesses like his access the billions of dollars left over in the program. 

Congress extended the deadline to August.

“Jason Teal and this enterprise is a great American success story, but it could be duplicated again and again and again if we provide them with the access they need,” said Blumenthal.

“Many folks have applied for loans at banks, minority-owned businesses and they’ve had problems,” said State Senator George Logan, a Republican who represents the 17th District. “They’ve found they’ve been non-responsive in getting any respect in helping them along in the process. So, we’re working towards that. So, we need to show more examples like Jason’s to the community.”

“The PPP loan just helps us in terms of cash flow,” said Teal. “Cash flow and being able to have this stable cushion of money so we know, ‘okay, I can at least have payroll out for x amount. I can have my rent paid out for x amount.’ It allows us some breathing room.”

Not only is Teal open for business and still selling his famous wings, he’s also hiring.

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