DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The pandemic brought many challenges to businesses and companies, such as retaining employees and having the money to pay them.
A lot of these businesses, however, were able to stay afloat due to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, including one local business owner who is well known in Dothan.
“We have close to 100 employees, and we have payroll, our folks need to get paid, they have bills, but we had no customers,” Mike Schmitz Automotive Group Owner, Mike Schmitz said. “So when they came out with the opportunity to apply for the PPP, my partner, Paul Padgett, and I absolutely jumped on it.”
Schmitz said a lot of his employees were concerned and not sure what was going to happen due to the lack of business and shutdowns, but the PPP loan brought comfort.
“We went around all of our employees and said look, we don’t know what’s going to happen, but you’re going to get paid. That put a comfort level and safety net, I guess for our business and our employees, that was great,” said Schmitz.
Another business, Jeffers Pet, said the PPP loan helped them withstand the competition of unemployment benefits, and the loan helped them retain their employees.
“We have close to 150 employees, and it allowed us to stay open,” Jeffers Pet CEO, Ruth Jeffers said. “It allowed us to compete with the unemployment benefits. We were able to give our employees many weeks a $100 a week bonus for showing up to work every week, which now seems like something that would be crazy, but at the time, it was such a blessing to be able to stay in business.”
Jeffers said the loan allowed them to take care of their employees that take care of them, and it was a blessing.