When COVID-19 shut down the country nearly one month ago, many businesses across a wide range of industries faced hard decisions regarding staying open and paying employees. One such place that was heavily impacted was Union County General Hospital. While they are absolutely an essential business, the stay at home order affected them just as much as any other business. Patients who would usually come into the clinic for checkups and routine procedures are staying home and avoiding the hospital unless it’s an absolute emergency.

Without that daily traffic, UCGH was looking at challenges when it came to paying staff and keeping the hospital open.  UCGH CFO, Melissa Prante, had some decisions to make, and that’s when she received alerts about the CARES Act and Paycheck Protection Program.

“Luckily, we have two board members who work at banks, and both of them started to share updates on the CARES Act and information on how the hospital could potentially benefit from it,” said Melissa. Nick Diller, SVP at Farmers & Stockmens Bank was one of those bankers.

“My initial reaction upon receiving the PPP information was, ‘well what does this actually cover,’ and Nick was able to answer all of our questions and give us a path forward,” said Melissa. Nick directed Melissa and UCGH’s CEO Tammie Stump to the Farmers & Stockmens Bank website where they were able to download the loan application and receive guidelines on all the information needed for loan approval.

It took Melissa and Tammie a full day to gather all the necessary information and package it up to send to Nick and his team. “We came in on a Saturday to pull all the information – less distractions than during the week. I’ve never applied for an SBA loan in the past, but this was an easy process thanks to Nick’s ability to answer our questions so quickly,” said Melissa. According to Melissa and Tammie, the PPP has helped relieve the stress to make payroll for the next two months. And with the chance of forgiveness at the end of all this, it was an easy decision as CFO for Melissa to move forward with the application process.

“These Paycheck Protection Program loans are really going to help hospitals stay open when we get to the other side of this pandemic,” said Tammie. Our community is in uncharted times, and it’s more important now than ever for businesses to examine all options before deciding to completely close their doors.

While the funds in the Paycheck Protection Program have been exhausted, there are other tools available to help business owners.  Please click on this link for more information, or reach out to one of our team members so we can answer any questions you might have. We’re in this together.