Paycheck Protection loans help keep Lincoln businesses open

Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 6:31 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Small Business Administration reported more than 42,000 Nebraska companies and non-profits have collected $3.4 billion in Paycheck Protection Loans. Five-thousand of these businesses are right here in Lincoln and one of them includes Buffalo Wings and Rings. Restaurant owner Michael Barton said this money has allowed them to keep their doors open and pay its staff in full.

“It included tips in there,” Barton said. “So we were able to compensate our servers to make sure they were making some money.” The owner said it received just under $400,000 for its two businesses. Barton said it’s money that has helped them get through the last few months, as business has been slow.

“Our sales have been down 40 to 60 percent just depending on the week,” Barton said.

Other benefits besides extra money and it’s forgivable if used to pay employee salaries, is how quick they were able to get the money. Barton said they currently use Cornerstone Bank and were able to get the money a week after applying for it. Although it didn’t give Buffalo Wings and Rings its loan, Cornhusker Bank said it has granted nearly $55 million in loans to around 600 customers.

Cornhusker Bank Executive VP of lending David Schiffermiller said, “I think we funded lots of times within three business days which was our goal from the time we took the applications.” Getting businesses their money is something that Cornhusker Bank has taken pride in and it also helped out their business.

“There’s been an opportunity for the bank to really broaden our customer base,” Schiffermiller said. Buffalo Wings and Rings plans to stay open and is hopeful business will pick up this month with sports starting. The owner said if sports get canceled, business will be slow in the coming months.

"We're hoping for some normalcy," Barton said. "And some fans in stadiums and some people to come into restaurants and enjoy those." The owner said he would potentially reapply for loans if there's a spike in COVID-19 cases.

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