DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — More than 900 Alabama businesses received the paycheck protection program loans ranging from $1million to $10million to help pay for business expenses.
Some businesses on that list were even right here in the Wiregrass including Mike Schmitz Automotive, Dothan Pediatrics, Baxley Blowpipe, and Larry Blumberg & Associates. LBA received over one million dollars.
“We’re a hotel development and management company. So we are responsible at the hotel level for all above property supervision, hiring, training. Locally in Dothan, we manage the Residence Inn, the Hilton Garden Inn, the Hampton Inn, and the Courtyard,” said Beau Benton, President of Larry Blumberg & Associates
75 Larry Bloomberg and Associates employees were able to remain employed during this time because of the payment protection program. Benton says they received assistance with the application process form local organizations.
“Really the support from some of the local bankers here, the Dothan Chamber of Commerce and some of the industry groups were providing some great information,” Benton said.
Benton says PPP was an incentive to provide no interest, low interest, and forgivable money to companies to keep people employed. But for some local businesses, like Stix & Cones, the decision to apply for the loan was more difficult.
“We did not take part in the PPP, we just examined whether we were going to pay that loan back and the payment for us, we just decided that we would be better off just seeing how we could make it on our own,” said Brett Smith, owner of Stix & Cones
Stix & Cones were able to keep their staff employed during the pandemic by getting creative, and resourceful offering more than just ice cream with sidewalk specials and family meals.
“We’ve seen some rebound we’ve seen our numbers coming back up, we’re not necessarily where we want to be, but we are making it. We are keeping the lights on,” Smith said.
For businesses that did receive the federal government loans, if used properly they are forgivable. A full list of businesses that received the Paycheck Protection Program can be found here, https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares-act/assistance-for-small-businesses/sba-paycheck-protection-program-loan-level-data.