Americans are resilient. Technology is amazing. Complexity is the bane of both. Nowhere are these statements more accurate than for small businesses seeking help or employees in search of unemployment assistance during the coronavirus business meltdown. Americans, as a people, do not like to ask for help. I guess it’s a declaration of independence thing. But when they do ask they are undeterred. Note the NY women who called Unemployment 300 times a day for days and didn’t get through. Or the line of cars stretching miles to pick up donated food. Or the stick-to-itiveness of mom and pop businesses trying to get Paycheck Protection Program money to keep businesses afloat — burning down servers.
The holdup is technology.
If SBA loans were available from banks “in situ,” people would be lined up for miles, sleeping in soccer chairs. The holdup is servers, bad user interfaces, horrible application logic, and poorly connected databases. It’s nice that everybody has “an app for that,” but what about having scalable IT systems that are easy to use, easy to interconnect, and have back-up.
The SBA (Small Business Administration) brand is quickly losing luster. Steve Mnuchin’s hollow promises of success are killing it. Of course, the SBA will blame it on the banks and the banks will blame it on the SBA.
The fact is, we were not prepared. Not to handle the healthcare crisis, not to handle the technological aftermath and fall out. What a shit show.
The Department of Defense games this stuff out but they didn’t completely foresee how technology was going to be a choke point.
When all is over, the American brand will be stronger. Of that I’m sure. The SBA, will need a name change. And technology will be a culprit in its undoing.