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Owner discovers Boca Raton business too small for pandemic aid

Most aid requires business to have 3 workers
Posted at 5:43 PM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 18:22:47-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — A Boca Raton small business owner said she is unable to receive federal or state loans during the pandemic because her business is too small.

“We are what they call a micro small business -- a true mom and pop. Somehow we don’t fit into the equation,” said Michelle Stettner, owner of the Sanborn Café.

Stettner said the only employees are her and her husband. They offer breakfast and lunch at their café, catering to the many surrounding businesses.

Most of the aid packages for small business require at least three workers.

“Without help, a small business such as ours just can’t survive,” Stettner said.

Michelle Stettner
Michelle Stettner said she is struggling to keep her small cafe open in Boca Raton after she was turned down for every loan and grant.

Stettner said she has applied for small business help from Palm Beach County in a program that just launched last week.

Many cities are also offering their own loans to small businesses. Boca Raton is reportedly working on a program.

“We’re all out there creating programs designed to help the businesses in need as much as we can,” says Chris Roog, director of West Palm Beach Economic Development.

“The main way to take advantage of these is to talk with your primary lender,” Roog said.

Without any help heading into the summer season Michelle Stettner wonders if she can keep her business open.

“We’re not alone. There are thousands upon thousands that are literally mom and pop from small catering companies to shoe repairs,” Stettner said.