Most plastic surgery businesses have become insolvent during this coronavirus pandemic.  These companies are small and are receiving no income.  In fact, some may be losing a huge amount of money due to refunds and keeping the payroll so that employees, spouses, and children can eat.  None of these businesses can perform plastic surgery procedures remotely as can many other professions like lawyers, accountants, engineers, and others.  In fact, the most specialized of professions, cosmetic plastic surgery, may lose a great many practitioners as a result of this pandemic.  What, if anything, is the government doing to help?

The Small Business Loans that were supposed to keep small business staff employed during the pandemic are not getting to those businesses who need it the most.  Many employers kept employees employed during a period of no income as businesses were closed.  The SBA disaster relief loans were supposed to reimburse small businesses for keeping workers employed.  As the funds delivered have been woefully short or have not been disbursed, businesses and owners of those businesses will be forced to let go of those employees that owners have heroically kept on staff.   This will mean a huge increase in unemployment numbers, which are already at 20 million.  The US government must approve more funds for the disaster relief SBA program and assure that the monies are in fact distributed to small businesses in need.  The whole process needs more transparency and the businesses who received the forgivable loans should be a matter of public record.  In times of great panic, great manipulation can frequently be employed.  This concern does little to inspire confidence among the population at large.

Compounding this issue is the inability of the unemployed to collect unemployment benefits due to whatever reason or excuse.  The stimulus checks are purportedly still on the way.  Finally, the governor of California approved $500 checks for undocumented immigrants in California despite the fact that everyone else has not received checks or unemployment or loans.  Recent reports released on 4/16/2020 indicate that California proved to be one of the least approved loan states in the country for the SBA disaster relief loans.   The few small businesses that did benefit were likely larger companies (with hundreds of employees) that took the lion’s share of the funds.  Obviously, this whole process has been a complete disaster for small businesses who did not receive funds, as these same companies will suffer the increased tax burden sure to accompany the many government give away programs.  The government, if not successful on the front end, should issue tax credits on the back end to account for such arbitrary business and banking practices.  The fate of the small business looks dismal – not that anyone cares.

UPDATE on 4/22/2020:  As suspected, the businesses who received the largest loans were the larger businesses who did not need them.  The larger banks with the larger clients took the lion’s share of the funds allocated for small businesses.  One company gave back the huge forgivable loan, but most large companies took the large loans and ran without the least concern for those small businesses that were and are truly suffering.  Several lawsuits are pending in multiple locales alleging impropriety on the part of lending banks and the SBA.

Dr. Kenneth Hughes in Los Angeles has continued to meet the needs of his patients and his employees and their families throughout this difficult time.