Vi Hart explains the four phase plan to re-open the US

Disbursements were not required to go through the SBA. They weren’t for Airlines, hospitals, the many transit agencies or every person who got relief funds as individuals.

And none of this rationalizing justifies diverting these funds to big businesses from small businesses. That it was slipped in by industry lobbyists shows the power that they have that you denied upthread.


Let Wheaton’s Law be your guide.


Five hours ago I wrote this:

The problem was the program self-selected capable applicants - those with lawyers and bankers who could pounce - not the little guys. By the time the little guys fought their way through the application and lined up, funds were gone. The funding should just be uncapped so the late applicants get the same thing they’d have gotten if they lined up Day 1. I have no problem with the big guys (who are big employers) getting what is the same per head (which is how the program essentially works) help so long is not in lieu of the same for the little guys.

I do honestly apologize if I was a dick anywhere. I don’t apologize for a difference in opinion.

I get it - you’re fine with diverting funds from small businesses to big businesses as long as no one points out that this is what’s happening.


I’m 100% fine with restaurants and hotels accessing the funds they fought to be included in, and who happen to employ a massive number of the lowest paying jobs in this country. I don’t have an issue if the company is held publicly or privately, or is franchised or independent. Or a mom & pop, or 100 ppl, or 499, or 501 if you add two restaurants together. I think there should’ve been more of it to start, and I think there is more of it on the way. I hope soon for the sake of those who didn’t file first, which is a shitty filter.

I walked past 100 closed real small businesses today going through the airport- most of whom did not receive these funds and have their own workers. I’m not fine with funds going to big businesses instead of them - and the public having been lied to regarding how our money was being spent.


Yeah, which airport? Most shops at any airport with 100 shops are leased up by big corporations. Hudson News and its 30 affiliates is no small business. Nor Panda Express.

Yeah - I know who own the businesses I’m referring to. And it’s not Hudson.


Can you share the airport? I’m not going to push the point any further. I’m just very curious.

I’m curious about where you work too. Why don’t you post it publicly.


I am part owner of a business <20 ppl.

But where? What’s the name of your business?


Ha. I’m not that curious.

A small business owner / neighbor of mine showed up at his Los Angeles area office at 4:15 a.m. Pacific Time the morning the SBA program was to open. He waited until 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time to log in and submit his application. The first attempt timed out with an error message. The second attempt, a success. The serial number of his application was less then 10. No lawyer, no accountant, just someone who wanted to help his employees and save his business.


If I understood correctly, the early phases would allow restaurants to open at near full capacity–however it would be restricted to essential workers who have increased access to testing. It sounds like there would be reduced capacity during the middle-to-late phases as more groups could be served. This is the first time I’ve heard of an option that isn’t only reduced capacity and sounds like a way more viable business plan than reduced capacity and very conservative social distancing during meal service.

I don’t think there’s any way around most restaurants being really screwed. Their margins were thin and even reopening today wouldn’t bring back customers. Plus I’m sure the supply chain for food is whacked out. I’ve ordered takeout from a few favorite restaurants and I was a little bummed to see only two staff working (someone cooking and someone bagging and handing out orders). Last week one closed up until this blows over and I would expect more.

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I imagine maintaining a business is all about consistency and planning for short, medium and long term. I don’t see how random starts and stops help because there are leading and lagging effects with your supply chain and customers. Sadly, I don’t think many small restaurants have a viable business model anymore. Even if a vaccine was available today things have shifted so much.

The plan offered seem to allow the largest number of previously viable businesses to return to viability quickly. My understanding is that restaurants could open to almost previous capacity except they were only serving to essential workers with increased access to tests.

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Think of a healthy employment rate as the Titanic making it into New York harbor in time.

Now think of Covid 19 as the north atlantic. The goal of getting to new york on time, is not a bad goal. But getting them there alive is more important. Even maybe you could get the lifeboats there faster, by somehow throwing more people overboard, wouldn’t you rather get as many people home alive, as you possibly could? Even if doing so slowed you down some?

Edited to add: Businesses are not lifeboats in this analogy, not unless they are equipped to keep covid out.

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Well, small companies tend to have a lower financial ceiling. If containment measures allow it, they might need every opportunity to earn some money “in between” to keep afloat. Year-long plans are really more for medium and large companies. It’s not always in the interest of the employees, either. My employer, for example, has decreed a reduction of working hours (and wages of course) for the next 6 months, even though no significant decline in customer orders has manifested itself yet. That’s not due to lockdown measures - thankfully, our industry is pretty much work-from-home compatible - but due to the economic impact their accountants assume. Now, employees might wonder why they should sacrifice a good portion of their pay in advance, on what isn’t yet much more than a hunch. Will we get back something if we are so lucky to see the pandemic ebb sooner than expected, as a thank you for securing the owner’s profit? Of course we won’t. We’d much prefer something that is more closely linked to current business figures, and less crystal ball based.

You could set your clock by the grifting.

Domestic emoluments clause review needed.