SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Billions of dollars have been approved in loans through the Paycheck Protection Program to help keep businesses open during the pandemic.
While some business owners say it was not helpful to them, others credit the loan for their survival.
The Summerville Family YMCA received a PPP Loan for between $350,00 and one million dollars. That kind of money for the non-profit has given its leaders a unique opportunity to survive and transform.
“We were able to update our facilities and to do deep cleans,” said Erin Roach, the marking director at the Summerville YMCA. “We were able to provide daycare for those essential workers and parents who were in need.”
That is just one example of the programs and services made possible by the loan.
“This loan sustained our business,” Roach said. “This loan gave us the relief that we needed to focus on bringing our members back safely and bringing our team back safely.”
The PPP loan is almost exclusively used for payroll.
While the YMCA was shut down for more than 60 days, 180 employees were out of a job across three locations. The loan allowed the company to recall employees and start providing community programs and services once again.
They are not just resurrecting old exercise classes. They are adding news ones and providing different ways to bring those classes to the community whether they have a membership or not.
Trainer Tyler Reed now streams his YMCA workout classes online through Facebook and YouTube.
He says that helps people who may be concerned about going to a class during the pandemic as well as those who may not feel comfortable going to a class in person regardless of the pandemic.
“There are just so many people who still have their reservations,” Reed said. “I feel like it just gives them an extra opportunity to get these workouts in.”
They have also introduced new classes specifically designed with the coronavirus in mind by moving them out of smaller rooms to the gym or even outdoor spaces.
“People are looking to do something and if we can provide a safe space to do classes or even just to do workouts in our fitness center, then yeah, they are going to come take advantage of that,” Reed said.
The loan has also helped them expand safety precautions. Cleaning is now done in two-hour increments, everyone is temperature checked and new hand sanitizer stations have gone up.
The Summerville YMCA has used about 40 percent of the loan – almost all of that going toward paying employees. While it is a loan, it is possible to get it forgiven though the Paycheck Protection Program.