Erie businesses benefit from PPP loans

Local News

Taking a look locally, there was a wide-range of businesses who took the loan option.  

Two of them say it was a saving grace for their employees. 

Across the commonwealth more than 97,000 companies received money from the Paycheck Protection Program, according to the Associated Press. There were 26,000 receiving more than $150,000. Three-hundred of the businesses were right here in Erie County.  

Bonnell’s Collision received $700,000. The Erie Zoo received $500,000. For the zoo, it was a vital lifeline. 

“We were able to bring some people back. Without this program I think we would have been in deep,” Scott Mitchell, president and CEO of the Erie Zoo. 

It also gave Bonnell’s Collision time to prepare staff for layoffs. 

“It came out right at the perfect time. We were able with the slowdown had weeks pre-selected out. We were able to pre-plan and give employees enough notice, ‘you know not the next day you’re off’ it gave them enough time to prepare themselves.” Chrystal Waite, office manager at Bonnell’s Collision 

Out of 92 employees, the collision shop had to layoff 45 people for a few weeks, with the longest layoff being about six weeks. There was a significant decrease in work. 

“We were able to keep the guys going with work as much as we could for as long as we could with the help of the loan,” said Waite. 

Zoo President Scott Mitchell says the loan helped to keep moving the zoo forward. 

“It’s still helping us to keep going through some very difficult times. I don’t know where we would have been without it. The extension they did and changes made was very helpful as well.” 

According to the Small Business Administration, the loans helped support more than 50 million jobs. 

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