WARREN, PA. The federal program has raised millions to Warren County and is projected to retain at least 3,881 jobs – payroll protection programs.
In short, it allowed businesses to obtain SBA-backed loans to keep their workforce alive during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Loans will be forgiven if all retention criteria are met and funds are used to meet eligible costs. The payroll protection program officially ended on May 31, 2021.
“Without PPP, we would fire employees”, Explained by Arthur Stewart, President of the Cameron Energy Company. “In fact, the week that PPP was discussed in Congress, my management team and I met with all of our employees to discuss the implications of the lockdown; then we announced our layoff plans. It was a terrible day. “
The payroll protection program – part of the CARES Act – was signed on March 27, 2020. Stewart said the move resulted in layoffs being delayed pending consideration of the PPP application.
“It took about six weeks to get information about the application,” he said. “It was a stressful time because we were quickly wasting our savings.”
About 320 loans have been made to Warren County businesses, according to the program database. The reports do not indicate specific amounts, but ranges from $ 2 to $ 5 million, from $ 350 to $ 1 million, from $ 150 to $ 350 thousand and less than $ 150 thousand.
This brings the total compensation between $ 29.3 million and $ 57.8 million, with a total of 3,881 jobs retained. While some organizations do not list the total number of jobs, this means that the number is likely to be significantly higher.
“PPP worked as advertised”, Stewart explained. “We avoided layoffs at our company, and outside of our company, we could continue to buy inventory and sell products to the refinery. Our ability to buy and manufacture has helped to keep the warehouse and refinery running. “
He acknowledged that the implementation of the program was “a risk because we had to keep our employees on payroll with no assurance that our PPP application would be approved or that the loan would be forgiven.
“We rolled the dice and it worked. Deep down, our management team knew that if the country did not do something to counter the lockdown, the country would be in immense trouble. So the PPP risk seemed justified.
Stewart said they also got a second round of PPPs that “Helped us keep our people safe during the economic downturn. Now that we are emerging from the recession, we can return to normal work instead of recruiting staff. “
In Warren County, four companies raised between $ 2 million and $ 5 million – Betts Industries, Inc., Crossett, Rouse Estate, and Whirley Industries, Inc.
14 organizations received between $ 350,000 and $ 1 million. These include, with the number of jobs in brackets where available, Allegheny Valve & Coupling (39 jobs), Briggs Transport Inc. (28), Cameron Energy Company, Community Eye Care Specialists, Inc. (44), D&R Transportation, LLC. (102), Darling Apothecary LLC (50), Ed Schultz of Warren, Inc., (44), Employees Strategic Partnership Group, LLC (73), JR Kays Trucking, Inc. (34), Sachiye McKenna & Associates, LLC (42), Theedeute Community Charter School (48), WH Fitzgerald, Inc., Warren Midtown Motors (53) and West Penn Oil Company (10).
The school may not seem like a typical applicant, but TCCS is entitled, as Director of Education Dr. Doug Allen said, as a non-profit organization.
“The PPP loan was very important to TCCS. This allowed us to continue educating our students and supplement our programs during covid, when all costs were higher than usual, ” he said.
Their loan was made through the Marquette Bank in Erie.
“It was an important source of funding,” Allen explained. “We have added five additional, irregularly hired temporary staff to TCCS to serve students during COVID in 2020-2021 as aides, teachers and cleaners to help us support our COVID-19 Board-approved Return-to-School Plan.
He said it was the cost of additional staff plus all the technological resources needed to get the school online.
“The PPP was meant for payroll spending in general, but we had to buy technology and supplement payroll funds, so the PPP was a great help for our children and parents,” Allen said.
A total of 32 businesses fell between $ 150,000 and $ 350,000, while 278 received loans of less than $ 150,000, with the smallest amount being $ 684.