With production down across farm country, rural businessowner Rosemary Weaver was relieved to receive a loan through the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Rosemary Weaver owns Willamsfield Valley Veneer, a sawmill based in Ohio that produces rough cut green lumber, as well as Select Enterprises, a fleet of logging trucks that span three states.
Critical Emergency Funds
The PPP provides SBA-guaranteed loans to small businesses facing financial hardship due to COVID-19. PPP loans cover payroll, mortgage interest, rent and utility costs throughout the eight weeks following receipt of the loan, and are forgivable if businesses meet certain criteria.
At first, Rosemary was conflicted about whether she should apply for a PPP loan. However, her accountant kept encouraging her and, eventually, she applied.
“I’m glad we applied when we did,” said Rosemary. “Our accountant kept telling us we would need it. She was right.”
Quick action, quick results
Once Rosemary decided to apply, she contacted her loan officer at AgChoice Farm Credit and got to work collecting the materials needed for the application, such as the companies’ payroll reports.
The following steps in the process were swift. “FedEx delivered the loan papers for signature on the morning of April 16,” Rosemary said. “We hand delivered the papers back to the Meadville branch office that afternoon and the funds were in our account the same day, April 16.”
One day at a time
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sawmills and trucking companies has been significant and changes day-by-day. “We’re dependent on customer orders from Pennsylvania mills,” Rosemary said. “It’s so iffy right now with production way down; we don’t know if we’ll work the next day.”
Retaining her staff and maintaining a high moral is one of Rosemary’s central concerns. She is critically aware that if one of her companies take a day off, that means employees are out of a day’s pay.
“We wouldn’t be able to keep paying our 31 employees, between the two companies, without the PPP loan,” Rosemary said. “With the funds, we can even pay our employees if they don’t work for a day rather than laying them off. We don’t want them to get discouraged.”
Farm Credit is committed to supporting farmers, ranchers and rural communities in good times and bad, and the COVID-19 is no exception. To read more about how we’ve been supporting our customers and communities, visit our COVID-19 support page.