North End Restaurateur Finds Flaws in PPP

One North End restaurateur believes the federal Paycheck Protection Program could unwittingly hinder recipients.

“When they gave out PPP money, the first thing you have to use 75 percent of it on help while 25 percent can go towards paying rent and utilities,” said Frank Depasquale, president of Depasquale Ventures, whose North End establishments include Assaggio, AquaPazza, Mare Oyster Bar, Trattoria il Panino, Quattro, Bricco Ristorante & Enoteca, Bricco Salumeria + Pasta Shop and Bricco Salumeria Panneteria. “How can you use it on help when you’re not allowed to open?”

Frank Depasquale, president of Depasquale Ventures.

Depasquale, who serves as chairman of the North End Chamber of Commerce, said terms of the program dictate that PPP recipients begin paying 1 percent interest as soon as they collect loans made available through their banks.

“One percent interest is charged on it when you don’t need it,” he said. “You can’t put all the waiters and bartenders back to work…and the PPP won’t work unless people can go back to [their jobs].”

Depasquale added, “The main thing is restaurants have to be allowed to open.

While restaurants could open in Governor Charlie Baker Phase Two plan in three weeks, Mayor Martin J. Walsh  says he will not take steps that put anyone under risk and will review all informations before making his decision.

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