LOS ANGELES - It has been heartbreaking reporting on small businesses trying to stay afloat during the stay at home orders. This week FOX 11's Laura Diaz met Joseph Harounian, owner of the Sauna Bar in Brentwood.
FOX 11 interviewed Harounian about the trouble he’s having getting a small business loan, unable to get his banker’s attention. He fills out forms online, never knowing if those forms reach the right banker. To make matters worse, Joseph had to read how businesses like Shake Shack and other profitable businesses managed to get the same type of loans he’s trying to get. His situation appeared bleak.
For the same story, FOX 11 spoke to Robert Franko, President of First Choice Bank in Cerritos, for some advice on how to approach the loan process. After he provided some great tips, FOX 11 put Harounian in touch with the representatives at the bank, and by Tuesday afternoon, a First Choice Bank banking officer was putting the finishing touches on Harounian's loan. Harounian himself refused to believe his good fortune until he read the confirmation email that was sent to him.
FOX 11 is glad he will have the opportunity to save his business.
As for other small business owners, here is some advice: Act quickly. Don’t rely on your own bank. Look for small banks across the country that specializes in small business loans. And keep at it until you get your loan.
We first reported on Harounian's story as we were also reporting about the Laker's returning their loan so they can help other small businesses in the community.