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PPP loans help to keep hundreds of Johnson County workers employed

Posted at 8:32 AM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 08:32:33-04

FRANKLIN — A new round of federal dollars that serve as a life vest has kept small businesses afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic in Johnson County and saved hundreds of jobs.

The wheels are in motion for businesses approved for the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program known as PPP.

The owner of Main and Madison Market Cafe in Franklin applied for more than $50,000 in federal funding to keep 34 people on the payroll. Without the loan, employees were facing pay cuts.

The restaurant started curbside pick-up this week after being closed since March 21.

"It was a moral decision on our part — safety of our employees, safety of the community," Amy Richardson, the restaurant's owner, said. "At that time, what was considered an essential business, we didn't feel that a home made croissant was an essential for people."

Mutual Savings Bank in Franklin processed 60 loans that impacted 450 jobs in Johnson County.

"They were connectivity issues with SBA e-trans system, but we just persisted because these folks are our neighbors," said Rob Henderson, Mutual Savings Bank senior vice president chief lending officer.

There is no sign indicating a specific date for the re-opening of the Boys and Girls Club of Johnson County, but their loan of more than $40,000 is saving the jobs of three full-time and one part time employee who are waiting to welcome kids back.

"We're ready to get back to get the kids back in our building," said Natalie Fellure, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Johnson County. "It takes a lot of planning to open a building back. Without the loans, we would not be able to pay them to do that."