‘A Huge Relief’: PPP Funds Continue Helping Main Street Small Businesses

Local Businesses Are Getting A Lifeline And Employees Are Keeping Their Jobs Thanks To Popular Loans From The Paycheck Protection Program

“The Trump administration announced Sunday that 2.2 million small business loans worth $175 billion have been made in the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza said in a joint statement that the average size of a loan made under the second iteration of the program, which began Monday, was $79,000…. The administration said that since the launch of the PPP, 3.8 million loans totaling more than $500 billion have been made.” (“$175 Billion In Small Business Loans Given Out In Second Round Of The Paycheck Protection Program,” CNN, 5/03/2020)

“The coronavirus has given beaten-down small banks a chance to prove their worth. After years of watching big banks gobble up deposits using their slick digital apps and sprawling branch networks, community banks are flipping the script and demonstrating the value of ties to local businesses. Banks with under $10 billion in assets approved about 60% of loans in the first round of the Paycheck Protection Program, the lending effort’s official name, according to the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration. The smallest banks performed even better: Those with $1 billion or less in assets account for just 6% of all U.S. banking assets, but they and other small specialty lenders approved nearly 20% of loan dollars.” (“Small Businesses Were at a Breaking Point. Small Banks Came to the Rescue.,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/04/2020)


Small Business Owners: ‘The PPP Loan Approval Is A Huge Relief,’ ‘With These Funds, We’ll Be Able To Keep Our Staff Working,’ ‘It Will Help Us Stay In Business,’ ‘It’s Going To Allow Us To Pay Our Employees For Eight Weeks And To Pay Their Health Insurance’

NORTH CAROLINA: “With five doctors and about 25 support staff, Wilson Eye Associates usually sees more than 100 patients a day, but Dr. Ralph ‘Barney’ Perry Jr. said the pandemic cut its services down to the bare bones. Two doctors and minimal support staff are seeing patients with emergencies on weekdays, but the change has hit Wilson Eye Associates’ bottom line. ‘As we had to decrease our patient load, we found ourselves in a position where we would not be able to sustain the practice on a severely restrained level, so we had to decide between laying people off or securing this loan,’ Perry said. Southern Bank helped the business with a loan of more than $200,000 to avoid layoffs. ‘With these funds, we’ll be able to keep our staff working and serving our patients,’ Perry said. ‘We’re hoping to be able to continue this until we can get business back to normal.’” (“Paycheck Loans Keep Wilson Businesses Afloat, Employees Paid,” The Wilson [NC] Times, 4/18/2020)

VIRGINIA: LARRY WELFORD, owner of an engineering firm: “It will help us stay in business… You just can’t build a business like mine overnight. It’s really important to me to come out the other side. Your employees are family. They have children, college, mortgages, all those things that, as an employer, you take on.” (“Paycheck Protection Program Tosses Lifeline To Small Businesses In Fredericksburg Area,” The Free Lance-Star, 4/20/20)

VIRGINIA: “Jeff Sullivan, co-owner of Bella Hair in downtown Fredericksburg, said that he applied for a PPP loan at Virginia Partners the first day it was available because the impact of COVID-19 on the salon has been a ‘nightmare.’ Bella Hair’s stylists haven’t been able to work since Gov. Ralph Northam ordered personal care businesses to close until April 23, and the business isn’t generating any income other than gift certificates. ‘They’re all anxious. They want to come back and start working,’ Sullivan said…. ‘Some have been on unemployment,’ he said. ‘We’ll be able to keep them employed so when we’re able to open up, we’ll be ready to go.’” (“Paycheck Protection Program Tosses Lifeline To Small Businesses In Fredericksburg Area,” The Free Lance-Star, 4/20/20)

TEXAS: “Sevy’s Grill, a longtime outing for family dinners, will be open in time to celebrate its 23rd anniversary. The Dallas restaurant at 8201 Preston Road announced that after a temporary closure, it will re-open for lunch service beginning April 30 with to-go meals in its valet parking area. Sevy’s owners credited the government’s Paycheck Protection Program, which offers federal loans in exchange for keeping employees on payroll, for its ability to keep going. An email blast and Facebook post reads: ‘We were blessed to be a part of the Paycheck Protection Program to help fund our comeback. The health and safety of our staff and guests will still be in the forefront of our journey back.’” (“Sevy’s Grill Credits the Paycheck Protection Program for Its Comeback,” Eater Dallas, 4/23/2020)

PENNSYLVANIA:Since the early 1900’s, Strathmeyer Christmas Trees have been growing and selling trees in York county [Pennsylvania]. But with limited income right now, affording the manpower to plant and take care of this farm would have been brutal. However, a small business loan stepped in and saved both the business and the jobs of 35 people who work for this fifth generation company.” (“Fifth Generation Business Survives After SBA Loan,” WHP-TV, 4/15/2020)

MASSACHUSETTS: “Thanks to a federally guaranteed and reimbursable Paycheck Protection Program loan through bankESB, Riverside Industries will continue to be able to pay its staff, even as its facility at 1 Cottage St. remains shuttered. ‘It’s going to allow us to pay our employees for eight weeks and to pay their health insurance,’ said Char Gentes, president and CEO of Riverside Industries. Riverside Industries is a nonprofit whose mission is to empower people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Although it closed its physical location on March 16 as part of efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19, it has continued to serve its clients…. Riverside Industries has more than 250 clients and nearly 200 employees…. Continuing to pay all its employees, Gentes said, is ‘the right thing to do,’ adding that a lot of the organization’s employees live paycheck to paycheck. ‘These are human service workers who need us to stand behind them.’” (“Reimbursable Loan Keeps Nearly 200 Riverside Workers On Payroll,” Daily Hampshire Gazette, 4/12/2020)

MICHIGAN: RICHARD KENNY, owner of Forest View Lanes of Bedford Township, MI: “The PPP loan approval is a huge relief. We have been keeping about 25 percent of the team working during the shutdown and doing some pre-planned improvements. We are looking forward to bringing all 46 team members back to work early next week.” (“Forest View Approved For Paycheck Protection Program,” The Monroe News, 4/20/2020)

NORTH DAKOTA: “Beaver’s Cafe was days away from laying off its seven employees and closing its kitchen to the 600 residents of Minto, N.D., when the local bank came up big. Choice Bank alerted cafe owner Steve Novak to a $350 billion government lifeline to help small businesses weather the coronavirus pandemic. On April 17, $10,400 arrived in Beaver’s Cafe’s account, allowing it to make payroll and keep its signature Mustang burgers on the grill. ‘Normally you’ve got to fight tooth-and-nail with a banker to get any money,’ said Mr. Novak, who reopened his dining room after North Dakota allowed restaurants to resume table service on May 1. ‘These guys came to me.’” (“Small Businesses Were At A Breaking Point. Small Banks Came To The Rescue.,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/04/2020)

MICHIGAN: “[M]any small businesses can keep paying employees thanks to the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program. One of those companies is New York Bagel which has been in business for 99 years. It has survived the Great Depression and World War II and nothing could slow them down. Until now. Fourth-generation owner Phil Goldsmith said they had to stop operations during the COVID-19 outbreak. But employees are still getting paid thanks to the federal government. ‘We shut down a couple of weeks ago out of an abundance and caution for our employees and our customers,’ Goldsmith said. ‘It just made sense to us that if we're going to be able to get money from the government and spend it on our employees.’ The program is part of the $2 trillion federal stimulus plan…. Not only do employees stay on the payroll, but it also reduces the number of people filing for unemployment and it saves businesses like New York Bagel from having to search, hire, and train new staff…. Goldsmith said he can't wait to get his employees back on the job, whenever that may be. ‘Nobody wants to see those bagels come out of the oven more than me. I cannot wait to get back to work because I have nothing to do,’ Goldsmith said.” (“New York Bagel In Ferndale Takes Advantage Of Small Business Grants To Keep Employees Paid During COVID-19 Pandemic,” Fox 2 Detroit, 4/15/2020)

SOUTH DAKOTA: “The Paycheck Protection Program is giving some businesses some extra cushion as they try to keep paying employees during this uncertain time. Child’s Play Toys in downtown Sioux Falls is one of the businesses that qualified for the first wave of federal assistance. The doors are temporarily closed at Child’s Play Toys in Sioux Falls. But Nancy Savage’s business is still taking orders online and over the phone, and even doing curbside pickup and free deliveries in the Sioux Falls area…. Now Savage and her employees have more of a safety net to keep doing business thanks to the Paycheck Protection Program.” (“Business Owner Grateful For Paycheck Protection Program,” KELO, 4/23/2020)

  • NANCY SAVAGE, owner of Child’s Play Toys: “It’s for eight weeks of payroll protection, is basically what it is, so that really, really will help me. We had funds saved enough to get through a couple months… Without it, I don’t know, I could’ve gone just a few months, but now I just feel like, ‘Ok, now I can get along a little bit longer if I have to.’ It just is that safety net. I hope I don’t have to use it, but if I do it’s there.” (“Business Owner Grateful For Paycheck Protection Program,” KELO, 4/23/2020)

MASSACHUSETTS: “One local business that was able to navigate the process during the first round is Lucky Finn Café located in Norwell and Scituate. It’s a family business that Chris Stoddard helps run with his wife Maryellen. Chris says they are finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. ‘We’re starting to see some small green shoots in terms of how our business is picking up a little bit,’ he said. He added the PPP loan was helpful to keep them afloat. ‘It did take off a lot of the pressure to be able to continue to stay operating,’ he said.” (“Navigating The Payroll Protection Program,” Boston 25 News, 4/27/2020)

PENNSYLVANIA: “Erie [Pennsylvania] ophthalmologist Howard Levin tried to get loans from banks where he had business or personal accounts so he could keep paying his 18 employees…. He called an acquaintance who sits on the board of Marquette [Savings Bank], which, with $950 million in assets, is the 1,213th-largest U.S. bank. He was soon on the phone with a loan officer who agreed to help. There was no hard ask, Dr. Levin said, but the banker told him that Marquette was ‘aggressively pursuing this market’ and was eager to talk about his business going forward. Eight days later, the money landed in a new Marquette account, which Dr. Levin says he will keep after the crisis passes.” (“Small Businesses Were At A Breaking Point. Small Banks Came To The Rescue.,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/04/2020)

  • “Dr. Levin recommended the bank to Chuck Herbst, a local rheumatologist. Late on a Sunday night, Dr. Herbst emailed the same Marquette loan officer—whom he knew casually as the brother of his hunting partner. He explained he wasn’t a Marquette customer but was looking for help. Eight minutes later, a reply came back: ‘Consider it done.’ His $185,000 loan was approved the next day. Dr. Herbst said the money will allow him to bring his 13 employees back and cover his $3,400 monthly rent. He will be free to use other savings to make safety upgrades to his office, such as replacing upholstered waiting-room chairs with plastic ones that can be disinfected. He, too, is a Marquette customer now.” (“Small Businesses Were At A Breaking Point. Small Banks Came To The Rescue.,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/04/2020)

NEW YORK: “Mary Murphy Harrison, who runs a [Western New York] local concrete and gravel supplier, didn’t initially seek a loan because she thought others needed the money more. That didn’t mean she couldn’t use it: Her company, Barney & Dickenson Inc., has laid off 15 people and cut hours for nine others over the past two months after projects were scrapped. ‘I changed my mind because I don’t see a quick end to this,’’ Ms. Murphy Harrison said. A $398,000 loan, deposited on Wednesday into the company’s account at Tioga, will help them bring back all of those workers, mostly truck drivers.” (“Small Businesses Were At A Breaking Point. Small Banks Came To The Rescue.,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/04/2020)

NORTH CAROLINA: “‘Since we sell to New York, it hit us pretty quick when we started feeling it back in February,’ said [Tom] Piggott of Nash Pigg hog farms and Custom Quality Packers slaughterhouse. ‘First it was a slow dribble and it went to basically a total shutdown.’ The 12 employees at the farm still are working to care for the hogs, but Piggott said it’s a struggle to maintain hours for the 24 slaughterhouse employees. The company has started selling to the public to make up for the reduced sales to restaurants, but a $225,000 Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program loan ensures the employees will continue to have a steady income. ‘Without this loan, we’d have to take a serious look at what to do with the farm,’ he said. ‘We would probably still find a way to take care of the slaughterhouse, but the farm would be a casualty of the pandemic.’” (“Paycheck Loans Keep Wilson Businesses Afloat, Employees Paid,” The Wilson [NC] Times, 4/18/2020)

COLORADO: “Loveland and Berthoud small businesses say the federal Paycheck Protection Program is following through on its promise of funding … Loveland’s economic development director, Kelly Jones, said she and her colleagues at the Northern Colorado Regional Economic Development Initiative have heard from businesses that the funds are being deposited in bank accounts. ‘That money came and went really quickly, and we’re all excited for the next round,’ she said.” (“Loveland, Berthoud businesses say relief funds flowing through federal PPP,” Loveland Reporter-Herald, 4/25/2020)


Community Bankers: PPP Funding ‘Is Going Into The Hands Of Our Small Business Owners, So That They Can Keep Folks Employed … That Is Huge For This Community,’ ‘Part Of What Keeps Us Going Is That We Know Our Customers. We See The Impact,’ ‘It’s A Huge Huge Positive Impact’

KENTUCKY: “[M]any local businesses have applied for loans through the federal government’s Small Business Administration as part of the Paycheck Protection Program. Many of those loans come through local banks, like Farmers National Bank in Danville [Kentucky]. It’s not been an easy task to handle the volume of loans, according to CEO Greg Caudill, but it’s been necessary for the local business community to survive. Caudill said that since the implementation of the PPP, his staff has worked diligently to provide the necessary loans for businesses struggling to keep employees on payroll, as well as pay rent, mortgage, utilities, etc. ‘I could not be more proud of them,’ Caudill said.” (“Local Bank CEO Says SBA Loans Have Been Difficult, But Necessary For Community,” The [Danville, KY] Advocate-Messenger, 5/01/2020)

NORTH CAROLINA: “Southern Bank staff in North Carolina and Virginia processed roughly 2,000 loans worth an estimated $300 million [in the first round of PPP funding], including loans for about 125 Wilson businesses that received around $17 million. ‘That is about $17 million that is going into the hands of our small business owners, so that they can keep folks employed,’ said Southern Bank market executive and senior vice president Matt Whitley. ‘That is huge for this community.’ … ‘We’ve had retail shops, agricultural businesses, manufacturing, nonprofits and service companies apply,’ Whitley said. ‘A full range of small businesses make up Wilson and that is what we’ve seen in this program.’” (“Paycheck Loans Keep Wilson Businesses Afloat, Employees Paid,” The Wilson [NC] Times, 4/18/2020)

VIRGINIA: “During the first weekend of the program alone, Fredericksburg-based Virginia Partners Bank made about 140 loans worth about $20 million. ‘We normally do $10 million in loans a month,’ said President and CEO Lloyd Harrison. ‘Since then, we have continued to handle applications, which total between 500 and 600, for many tens of millions of dollars.’ ‘A lot of them are for what I would call Main Street businesses, from hair salons to restaurants, big companies in construction-related industries, government contractors. It’s pretty much a broad cross section of the business community,’ he said. ‘And they’ve been everywhere from under $10,000 to several million dollars and everything in between.’” (“Paycheck Protection Program Tosses Lifeline To Small Businesses In Fredericksburg Area,” The Free Lance-Star, 4/20/20)

VIRGINIA: “John Asbury, president of Atlantic Union Bankshares … said that he’s seen everything from churches and the smallest of nonprofits all the way to companies that employ several hundred people apply for the program…. At Atlantic Union, 400 employees have been working full time, including nights and weekends, on nothing but PPP loan applications. ‘We have thrown as many resources as possible at it,’ Asbury said. ‘Part of what keeps us going is that we know our customers. We see the impact.’” (“Paycheck Protection Program Tosses Lifeline To Small Businesses In Fredericksburg Area,” The Free Lance-Star, 4/20/20)

MASSACHUSETTS: “Matt Sosik, president and CEO of bankESB, said that the loan to Riverside [Industries] was the first PPP loan that bankESB has delivered. However, he said that Hometown Financial Group, which the bank is a part of, is processing more than 600 applications for such loans, and is set to inject more than $100 million into the economy as a result. Sosik aid that providing money so that Riverside can pay its employees is ‘exactly what this program is designed to do.’ ‘It’s a huge huge positive impact,’ he said.” (“Reimbursable Loan Keeps Nearly 200 Riverside Workers On Payroll,” Daily Hampshire Gazette, 4/12/2020)

NORTH DAKOTA and MINNESOTA: “At the end of the first round of the [PPP] program, Choice Bank had approved about $375 million in loans to about 1,500 businesses, mostly in North Dakota and Minnesota, equivalent to nearly one-fifth of its existing loan book.” (“Small Businesses Were At A Breaking Point. Small Banks Came To The Rescue.,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/04/2020)

PENNSYLVANIA: “In Erie, Pa., Marquette Savings Bank claimed a 100% success rate as of Friday, getting 393 loan applications worth $50 million approved…. ‘We’re a community bank,’ said Marquette CEO Mike Edwards, who said he doesn’t expect to make a profit on the loans. ‘We need the community to be there when this is over.’” (“Small Businesses Were At A Breaking Point. Small Banks Came To The Rescue.,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/04/2020)

NEW YORK: “[Tioga State Bank’s] $25.4 million in approved loans will allow companies in 20 New York counties to retain or rehire about 3,500 workers, [bank president Bob] Fisher said. That kind of money goes far in the region, the state’s only one to lose jobs between 2013 and 2018, according to the New York State Department of Labor.” (“Small Businesses Were At A Breaking Point. Small Banks Came To The Rescue.,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/04/2020)



Related Issues: COVID-19, Economy, Small Business, Jobs