COVID Diaries: Jessica And Sean Apply For A Loan

a couple of color wearing masks and looking at each other, concerned, while a large coronavirus hangs over them
Dani Pendergast for NPR
a couple of color wearing masks and looking at each other, concerned, while a large coronavirus hangs over them

Dani Pendergast for NPR

Twenty years in the past, once I was dwelling in Oakland, I began enjoying capoeira, the Afro-Brazilian martial artwork. And that is the place I met somebody who ultimately turned a very good pal: Jessica de Lima-Moran. We spent lots of time coaching collectively. I finally stopped, however Jessica devoted her life to capoeira—and even met her husband, Sean Moran, via the martial artwork.

Now, they stay in Los Angeles, and have labored with a nonprofit for the previous 15 years spreading the art of capoeira. They educate youth of coloration at completely different neighborhood facilities round Southern California, school college students at universities, and adults at a gymnasium not removed from the place they stay.

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Jessica de Lima-Moran demonstrates the artwork of capoeira.

BESE YouTube

On March 1, they took over that gymnasium and signed an costly five-year lease. But simply two weeks later, they needed to shut their doorways. California had simply issued its stay-at-home order, requiring nonessential companies to shut. Jessica and Sean knew the measure was vital for holding their neighborhood secure — however additionally they knew it was prone to put their life’s work in jeopardy.

There are many causes that small enterprise homeowners of coloration—like Jessica de Lima-Moran, who’s Brazilian, and her husband Sean Moran, who’s black—must combat particularly laborious to outlive the financial results of COVID-19. So at first of April, I requested them to start out recording dispatches from their cell telephones to doc a few of what they have been going via — together with making use of for loans, unemployment and reduction cash.

Here are snippets from these diaries that they despatched me, largely informed from Jessica’s perspective. And to listen to their full story, subscribe to the Code Switch podcast.

These diaries have been edited and condensed for readability.

Jessica de Lima-Moran and Sean Moran, working towards capoeira Courtesy of Jessica de Lima-Moran cover caption

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Courtesy of Jessica de Lima-Moran

Jessica de Lima-Moran and Sean Moran, working towards capoeira

Courtesy of Jessica de Lima-Moran

April 10

We have been on fixed cellphone calls with our accountant. We are frightened. I imply, what can we are saying? It’s just a little sophisticated, since you are informed about choices just like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, however then no person responds. So it is only a ready recreation. We are simply utterly in limbo.

April 14:

We’re nonetheless ready on something. Any stimulus cash, any help, any assist. Today, lastly, we received an electronic mail from the SBA. Now, I’m on maintain on the cellphone with them.

Their electronic mail was utterly unhelpful. Basically, it is a recap of what the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) mortgage does and the PPP does. I’m tremendous pissed off.

April 16:

Yesterday, the solar got here out, a break from the dreary rain that was occurring. The stunning sunshine is bookended by the information that on daily basis, there is a change in no matter is occurring. Yesterday, it was that the stimulus invoice was going to expire of cash for PPP and for the small enterprise emergency loans. So now I’m assuming we’ve to attend for one more stimulus invoice. We’re nonetheless ready for our reduction examine.

The gymnasium is the very last thing that is going to open up. We had been the primary ones to shut, and we’re gonna be the final ones to open up. We’re gonna nonetheless be sporting face masks till 2021. I am unable to consider that. For gyms and huge gatherings of individuals sweating, I do not know when they will allow us to reconnect once more.

We’re doing on-line courses with our college students, however they’re dropping off. With the cash that we’ve coming in, we’re not going to have the ability to pay two months of lease and utility and insurance coverage once we reopen. That’s over $13,000 of simply lease. Commercial lease in Los Angeles isn’t any joke, proper?

I’m not going to surrender on the dream, although. That’s our area. That’s our gymnasium. This has been 15 years within the making, and it isn’t going to get taken away from us. I do not know what we’re gonna do, however it isn’t gonna get taken away from us. I really feel very strongly about that.

April 21st:

I’m presently emailing the Small Business Administration. I assume they’re making some corrections, as a result of massive firms in some way went via some loophole and received hundreds of thousands and hundreds of thousands of {dollars} of funding. I simply heard on the radio about how this time, they’re going to attempt to allocate some cash for some completely different particular teams, like minority companies. So possibly we will push to some type of entrance of the road. So I’m emailing the SBA, as a result of we nonetheless have not heard something. I additionally do not see a stimulus examine in my checking account.

April 29:

Nothing but. No cash, honey. We cannot apply for unemployment both, as a result of we’re nonetheless ending up a instructing gig at Cal Arts. That’s solely a partial supplementary earnings, however we do not need to lie. But nonetheless, it is simply so sophisticated to fill out unemployment purposes. Both Sean and I attempted, and we do not need to lie. So no unemployment, no stimulus cash, no PPP, no SBA, no microloan from the town of Los Angeles.

April 30:

Now we’re simply much more panicked. We’re supporters of public security; public well being is key.That goes with out saying. But Gov. Gavin Newsom is saying that gyms are in Phase Three of reopening, and that is months away. I imply, are you severe? Months? There’s no approach we’re gonna be capable to keep open.

To hear the remainder of Jessica and Sean’s story, listen to this week’s episode of the podcast.

To hear extra about how precisely these coronavirus mortgage applications work, and why small companies of coloration are struggling laborious throughout the pandemic, be certain to take heed to our episode wherever you get your podcasts: NPR One, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts and RSS.

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