Latta visits PPP loan recipients in Van Wert
VAN WERT – More than 6,000 small businesses in Ohio’s 5th Congressional District have taken advantage of low-interest loans to date to retain nearly 123,000 employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. Representative Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, visited one of these companies on Friday morning and found that the loans made possible by the Paycheck Protection Program, a provision contained in the federal CARES law of $ 2.2 trillion , have in some cases done more than save jobs. It probably saved lives.
Latta discussed the PPP loan program and other topics during a visit to the family health care office in Van Wert. He was also to visit the Marsh Foundation during his stay in Van Wert.
Family Health Care, a non-profit agency, provides medical, dental and behavioral health services. Jennifer Smith, director of the health care agency, told Latta that without the PPP funds “we would have had to cut back on the services we provide to the community and lay off staff.”
Family Health Care chief financial officer Laura Scott said that while 90% of the low-interest loan funds were used to cover the salaries of the 35 health professionals who were employed there, that money also enabled the company to better plan its future.
When the coronavirus first became widespread, the nonprofit struggled to maintain the status quo while adapting to new security protocols.
“Obviously, our business has changed dramatically. Our number of dental appointments has been drastically reduced, and we even had to lay off some dental staff for a short time, ”Smith said. “The PPP money kept us afloat.”
Scott said family health care officials would be interested in securing another loan if a second round of P3 funding becomes available. But Latta was not optimistic that Congress will authorize additional stimulus funding anytime soon.
“I don’t think we’ll see anything before the election, or maybe even in the first part of next year,” Latta said. “It has become too much of a political problem.”
One of the hurdles the loan will help alleviate, the director said, is the length of time it takes to get COVID-19 test results. The turnaround time is now around five days, she said, but a “quick test” machine has been purchased with grant funds.
“He just arrived yesterday, after a few hiccups with the dealer. We hope the new equipment will be operational soon, ”said Smith.
The federal paycheck protection program ensures that small businesses can continue to pay their employees and cover costs during the pandemic. Funds can be used to cover the full cost of payroll and other eligible expenses for up to 24 weeks.
Small businesses looking to receive funds can apply to any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and participating farm credit system institution.
The interest rate is a fixed rate of 1%. All payments are deferred for six months, but interest will continue to accrue during this period. The loan is due in two years but can be paid earlier without penalties or prepayment charges.
Congressman Robert Latta, R-Ohio, shut down the nonprofit family health care business in Van Wert for an update on Federal Payroll Protection Program loan funds obtained by the center.
Bob Latta, who represents Ohio’s 5th Congressional District, speaks with Jennifer Smith, director of Family Health Care agency in Van Wert, during a visit Friday morning.