The Paycheck Protection Program was first unveiled under the CARES Act last March to help affected businesses get through the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Less than two weeks after the start of the program, the $ 349 billion was depleted, triggering a second round of PPP loans totaling $ 320 billion. In December, postgraduate funding added $ 284 billion to the program. In total, $ 800 billion has been disbursed on more than 11.8 million small business loans in the United States. In New Hampshire, 16,617 loans were approved in the three rounds according to data compiled by the Small Business Administration totaling more than $ 1.15 billion.

Roedel Companies in Wilton, which owns and operates 10 hotel properties in New Hampshire and other New England states, as well as New York and Florida, was one of many local companies to receive funding. via the Paycheck Protection Program and Something Chief Financial Officer Fred Roedel III said “I think for a lot of companies, including ourselves, this saved us”.

“We have been hammered,” he said. “And we used it as one of the tools to get us out of it. Have a business that people can come back to.

Roedel said that in the span of two weeks last spring, the company grew from 550 employees to 85 and described the effect of the pandemic on the hotel and hospitality industry as devastating. They had to completely close three of their hotels for three months and for the others, activity slowed down considerably.

“I don’t think people appreciate the speed and impact,” Roedel said.

Roedel called the PPP loans well intentioned and certainly beneficial and was impressed with the speed at which the program was rolled out. The company took out eight loans in the first round and eight more in the second distribution. Six of the original loans have been canceled, Roedel said, while they are still awaiting information on the latter two. He said that in the past four weeks he has started the process of handing over the second round loans.

The main problem is that the parameters of the loan forgiveness process have changed, sometimes making it difficult to navigate what will be forgiven. He said part of the funds were used for things like debt services, insurance and taxes, out of the need to survive.

“So now we’re dealing with some details and some issues,” he said. “But we saved our business, we got away with it, so if we have to pay them back, so be it.”

Roedel said loans were crucial at the time and business still hasn’t returned to what it was before COVID-19.

“I anticipate that the business community will start traveling again in the third or fourth quarter,” Roedel said.

He said they were becoming self-sufficient again, “but it was important to get over that”. For now, Roedel said they have returned to an employee level below 400, which is in part due to the difficulty of hiring employees.

Philip Himberg, executive director of MacDowell, said the decision to apply for a PPP loan came early and at a time when he was dealing with the effects of his COVID-19 diagnosis.

The sole reason for applying for the loan was the mission to keep MacDowell employees employed during the uncertainty of the pandemic.

“And it was meant for exactly what the PPP loan was supposed to do,” Himberg said. “It allowed our employees to continue working. ”

Himberg said the $ 433,800 loan was canceled and he did what he was supposed to because MacDowell was able to keep everyone on the job until they got back up and running in the fall. .

“We felt our app was exactly within guidelines,” Himberg said. “So we were pretty confident that we applied in good faith and used it in good faith.”

The loan did not cover all the costs of employee salaries, but it was sufficient. The idea was to put human capital before money, Himberg said.

“It wasn’t a total budget break, but it helped tremendously,” Himberg said. “Because if we had fired people, we wouldn’t have been able to prepare to reopen when we did. It was therefore about investing in the mission and the future.

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