Local honey bee farm is buzzing with joy after their PPP loan is canceled

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) – Leeann Townsend was buzzing with joy after finding out that the Paycheck Protection Program loan, which has kept her honey farm of more than 2,000 hives open during the pandemic, has been forgiven by the US Small Business Administration.

“Our jobs don’t end with COVID. We still have to follow the bees. Even if many companies and all have to close, still have to continue. The extra income to help cover these expenses has been helpful as COVID has affected some of our honey sales. “

This reduced the loan amount of $ 31,000 to Townsend Honey Farm.

“It’s huge. It was very exciting, but it was also a huge relief. It’s a blessing because we should have started repaying the loan next month.

It’s also a sigh of relief for the Florida Credit Union, the lender that provided Townsends and other businesses in the area with the real money for their loans.

“All of this money was approved and allocated by Congress and the government, but the lenders funded these loans,” said Evan Pitts, senior vice president of business services. “In our case, we had millions of dollars, and there are bigger lenders in this country who probably have hundreds of millions of dollars that have been loaned or spent on this program while they wait for the SBA to pay it back.”

This loan had a huge impact on the family business.

“All of the money we received 100% went to pay our employees,” Townsend said.

Even though they don’t have to pay all the bees for their hard work, employees may not have received a check if the company hasn’t received the PPP loan.

“Where the work wouldn’t necessarily have stopped, the money could have stopped for them until we recovered. “

More and more loans are starting to be canceled, according to Pitts. The credit union receives its reimbursement for its share of community business assistance.

“It’s good to see the whole process come full circle, from the beginning until the government does what it said it was going to do and these loans are canceled entirely. “

Pitts said the experiment was more about helping businesses than making a profit.

“There’s no way for a lender to make a lot of money with this. It’s more about our goodwill and willingness to make an impact in the community and help local business owners and employees in that community. “

Townsend is fortunate enough to have the loan canceled.

“Very, very grateful that our government has made this loan, this PPP loan available to small businesses around the world and very grateful that we have had the opportunity to ask for it and be forgiven.”

If you would like to learn more about canceling your Paycheck Protection Program loan, click on the link below.

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