Stark County businesses secure over 700 PPP loans

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Over 700 loans have been made available to businesses, churches, schools and organizations in the Stark County area under the Paycheck Protection Program.

The Small Business Administration managed the program, which is part of the federal coronavirus assistance program negotiated by President Donald Trump and Congress earlier this year. The SBA released a list of loan recipients earlier this week.

The program has saved more than 42,500 jobs in the region, according to information released by the SBA.

Eight companies – Ameridial, McDonalds, American Medical Personnel, Biery Cheese Co., Kendall House, Alfred Nickles Bakery, Schroer Group and Siegfried Enterprises – said up to 500 jobs were protected with the loans.

Companies inundated the SBA with PPP requests in April as the pandemic developed. The agency said it processed 14 years of loans in two weeks, draining $ 349 billion from the original $ 2.2 trillion stimulus package.

Loan groups

The plan was paid off and extended until June. Trump recently signed an extension law that sets an August 8 deadline for filing PPP loan applications.

So far, the SBA has approved as of June 30 more than 140,000 loans in Ohio for a total of nearly $ 18.4 billion.

The SBA list divides loans into five groups: $ 5 million to $ 10 million; 2 to 5 million dollars; $ 1 to $ 2 million; $ 350,000 to $ 1 million; and $ 100,000 to $ 350,000.

Most of Stark County’s loans were in the lower two brackets. Loans ranging from $ 5 million to $ 10 million were made to seven companies, while 32 received loans between $ 2 million and $ 5 million and 63 received loans between $ 1 and $ 2 million.

PPP loans are designed as an incentive for small businesses to keep workers on the payroll during the coronavirus pandemic. The SBA has offered to cancel the loans if the employee retention criteria are met and the money is used for qualifying expenses.

Eastern Stark County

Fifty-three companies at Alliance and eight at Sebring have received PPP program loans.

Many of the larger companies in the city and surrounding townships and villages have been helped, such as Coastal Pet Products, Robertson Heating Supply Co., Morgan Engineering Systems, Inc., Trilogy Plastics, Inc., Damon Industries and Winkle Industries, Inc .

In Sebring, Copeland Oaks and its Crandall Medical Center were beneficiaries, both receiving category 1 loans at $ 2 million.

The companies had different levels of jobs which were saved by the program loans.

Coastal Pet said the loan program would save 451 jobs, while Robertson listed 250 and Trilogy listed 220. Copeland said the loans would save 266, while Crandall reported 151.

On the opposite end of the spectrum were Alliance Ventures and First Choice Electrical Solutions LLC, both of which said 10 jobs would be saved with the help of a loan.

Five associations received aid. In addition to Copeland Oaks and Crandall, Alliance Family Health Center and Alliance Country Club also got help.

Beyond business

Loans were not limited to businesses deemed essential, and Congress allowed religious groups, schools and museums to apply.

Nearly two dozen churches, denominational schools and ministries have obtained loans ranging from $ 150,000 to $ 5 million. No predominantly black church is listed as a recipient.

Regina Coeli Catholic Church and School received a loan in the lowest category, ranging from $ 100,000 to $ 350,000.

Monsignor Lewis Gaetano, pastor of the Catholic Church of Christ the Servant in Canton, said he had obtained a loan of $ 245,000.

The funds, he said, are used to pay essential staff – the principal, deputy principal, social worker, teachers, janitor and kitchen staff – at the church and at Our school. Lady of Peace. Other employees who have been put on leave are not paid from the funds.

“It was a godsend,” Gaetano said, adding that OLOP would reopen in August.

The Golden Key Center for Exceptional Children was one of seven private schools to receive a PPP loan. Malone University was the only university in Stark County to receive one. A spokesperson for Malone did not return a message asking for comment.

Gina Bannevich, director of operations at Golden Key, said the loan of $ 262,800 will be used for payroll and utility bills. The Canton center, which said the loan would help keep 43 jobs, is a non-profit, non-public school for students with developmental disabilities, primarily those with autism.

Bannevich said that when the state closed school buildings as part of its efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus, teachers, response specialists, therapists and other support staff at Golden Key adapted to respond to demands. student needs through online learning.

Help for restaurants, others

In Stark County, the program has benefited about 40 restaurant businesses, including several forced to close at the start of the pandemic. Some operators have received more than one loan, applying to several companies. Among them was Alliance Restaurant, Inc.

Law firms, retailers, car dealerships and medical practices have also benefited from the program. Doctors’ offices were among the top applicants, with 40 doctor’s offices receiving loans.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame received a loan that helped pay employee salaries. “We were able to keep everyone employed during the three months our doors were closed,” said Rich Desrosiers, vice president of communications.

The loan program has enabled Brewster Cheese to avoid involuntary layoffs, pay cuts or other downsizing measures, said Tom Murphy, president. The country’s largest Swiss cheese maker has 421 employees, with just over half in Stark County and the rest in factories in Illinois and Idaho.

When restaurants were forced to close, demand for cheese declined dramatically. The PPP loan was essential to keep the company’s workforce intact.

“We have a great group of employees and we do our best to make things work for them,” said Murphy.

Brewster Cheese was among seven local businesses receiving $ 5-10 million in aid. The others: Schumacher Homes (50×20 Holding Co.), Hilscher Clarke Enterprises, Ohio Gratings, Belden Brick Co., Schroer Group and Nickels Bakery.

Beth Lechner, executive director of Habitat for Humanity East Central Ohio, said her loan arrived just before the agency was set to put half of its employees on leave.

“We were very fortunate to receive funds from the Paycheck Protection Program,” she said. “We received $ 376,300, an amount to be used over a 24-week period for items eligible for authorized discount under the loan terms, thereby protecting payroll and benefits such as employee care. health.

Since the bulk of Habitat’s budget is spent on housing construction projects, the ministry depends on donations and proceeds from its ReStore sales to support its operations, Lechner said.

“We suffered a financial blow when we closed our ReStore for two and a half months,” she said. At the same time, we have seen a sharp drop in non-designated financial giving as our community braced for the impact of the pandemic and rightly turned to meeting frontline needs on time. timely. “

USA Today Network-Ohio staff members Laura Kessel, Edd Pritchard, Kelli Weir, Charita M. Goshay, and Amy L. Knapp have teamed up to write this story.

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