GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — Chuck and Susan Klatkiewicz have spent the past three years building their business, S&C Machine.
“We build parts for packaging companies and bottling companies,” Chuck explained.
The business is currently housed inside the Greater Green Bay Chamber of Commerce’s Startup Hub.
“It’s just us two,” Susan said. “We’re both co-owners, and he does the machining aspect. I run the books for him.”
Something they hadn’t figured into their business plan: The coronavirus pandemic.
“When the pandemic hit, our sales were cut down to a quarter of what they were,” Chuck said.
The Administrator of the US Small Business Administration says for small businesses across the country, that struggle continues.
“They’re trying to exist with this current pandemic situation,” Jovita Carranza said, “be very compliant with the CDC rules. It’s a matter of managing their infrastructure to be able to overcome the next couple of months that look pretty serious with this pandemic.”
The Paycheck Protection Program provides loans to small businesses like S & C Machine.
Those loans will be forgiven if the businesses meet set criteria.
“So with the forgiveness program, that helped to pay for our rent here and pay for my husband’s paychecks, therefore not taking that money out of the business and keeping it in the business,” Susan said.
Carranza has visited small businesses across the country who have been awarded loans through the PPP.
“The main comment I hear from small businesses is it serves as a lifeline and it serves as a bridge,” she said. “Without the funds, they would’ve either had to borrow at a really high rate; secondly, lenders weren’t even providing those types of benefits, and then thirdly they would have to go into their personal savings.”
Through the program, more than five million forgivable loans have been approved nationally.
87,000 of those were awarded to Wisconsin businesses.
Chuck told Local 5 Friday the business would have suffered were it not for the loan.
“If it wasn’t for these government programs that we were able to take advantage of, our business would be hurting pretty badly right now,” he said.
Instead, the owners of S & C Machine are continuing to work toward their dreams.
“My husband’s been a machinist for over 20 years and he always wanted his own shop and we finally we financially sound enough and we decided to go for it and do it,” Susan said.
The program has been extended through August 8th, so there is still time for small businesses to apply.