PPP funds are ‘must have’ for HME companies

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Friday, May 8, 2020

YARMOUTH, Maine – More than half of respondents to a recent HME Newspoll say they received funds from the initial Paycheck Protection Program.

Of those that received funds, 68% received more than $75,000. Others received smaller amounts: up to $25,000 (13%), $26,000-$50,000 (13%), and $51,000-$75,000 (6%).

“It will enable us to continue employing and paying all our employees, make our lease payments and buy our goods without any interruption to our patients,” said John Skoro, president of XMED.

Under the PPP, the Small Business Administration grants loans to cover payroll and other costs to eligible businesses. After it was quickly depleted of $350 billion in initial funding, Congress in April passed a bill earmarking an additional $310 billion.

Other respondents will use the loan to bring back employees who had already been laid off or furloughed.

“We expected a significant cash flow issue and, since revenue decreased 20% in March/April, the staff we kept working were focusing on revenue-related processes,” said Aaron McDonald, owner of Olympia Respiratory Services. “This allows us to bring back staff and not focus as much on revenue-related processes.”

Despite hiccups, including frustration with the process and money going to large corporations, 73% of respondents who didn’t receive loans in the first round said they planned to re-apply.

“I applied the first day it was available (the first time) and by the second day they were out of money,” wrote one respondent. “I received notification that it was submitted to the SBA when the second round passed and am waiting. This is a big farce.”

But without the help, many small businesses simply will not survive, say respondents.

“It’s critical to keep staffing at current levels,” said Tori Fleming, vice president of Scooters to Go. “(I’m) troubled that banks are not prioritizing smaller businesses. This is a must have to keep the doors open.”