Local businesses benefitting from Paycheck Protection Program

Updated: Jan. 25, 2021 at 3:20 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The second round of the Paycheck Protection Program has begun and some North Country businesses are getting a portion of the $285 billion set aside for federal pandemic relief.

For 8 decades, Freeman Bus Corporation has operated in Watertown. But in 2020, President Leif Petterson says business nearly stalled.

“Being in the people transportation business has been pretty severely impacted by COVID-19,” he said.

Petterson says he employs about 45 workers. To keep them on the payroll and to pay the bills, Freeman Bus applied for the second round of PPP.

It’s offered through a number of banks, but Petterson got it through Northern Credit Union.

“It’s really nice knowing that we are able to help keep individuals employed when times are tough,” said

Robert Barlow, director of commercial lending, Northern Credit Union.

For the first round of PPP last spring, Northern Credit Union secured $30 million in funds, keeping more than 4,000 people at work.

This time around, it secured more than $11 million, keeping more than 2,000 people employed at more than 150 businesses.

Another one of those businesses is the Canton Daycare Center, which has 23 staff members caring for 50 children.

“There weren’t enough funds to keep us open,” said Kathryn Mullaney, treasurer of the board, Canton Daycare Center.

The daycare center will be receiving $94,000 of Northern Credit Union’s funds.

“It’s equivalent to 2 and a half months of salaries,” said Mullaney.

Both businesses say the application process is quick, easy, and still open.

“I would encourage other business owners, who are struggling with working capital issues, to do a PPP loan application,” said Petterson.

The deadline to apply is March 31.

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