Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Representative Darin LaHood

Representing the 18th District of Illinois

Paycheck Protection Program Helps Peoria Charter Coach Recall and Retain Staff

April 15, 2020
Press Release

PEORIA, IL — Peoria Charter Coach will be hiring back nearly all full-time employees impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to a loan under the Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Peoria Charter President and Owner, Bill Winkler, announced on Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

“This is exactly what we envisioned when we enacted the Paycheck Protection Program in the CARES Act,” said Congressman Darin LaHood (R-IL). “This loan will allow Peoria Charter to keep their employees working, earning paychecks and supporting local businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic. This isn’t just a benefit to the employees of Peoria Charter. It will help support businesses and workers throughout the Peoria, Normal, and central Illinois community, and I will continue to do what I can to support them as we navigate this challenging time.”

Peoria Charter has received more than $2.5 million in cancellations over just the past 30 days. The company laid off more than 120 employees and ceased the service between Peoria/Normal and the Chicago Area as an effort to reduce costs, while the companies’ income came to a rapid halt. “We reached out to Representative Darin LaHood in our time of need, and he went above and beyond for our business,” shared Bill Winkler.

“This loan is providing Peoria Charter the opportunity to give employees back their jobs and livelihood. Although travel is not something that is currently occurring during this pandemic, we are actively searching for opportunities to help our community,” said Bill Winkler. The Co-Owner of Peoria Charter, James Wang, recently posted a video on their Facebook Page showing how Medical Professionals can use their charter bus fleet as makeshift testing sites or mobile treatment centers. “We are able to remove seats, provide outlets and high-speed WiFi, and storage underneath the coach for equipment or generators, all while being mobile,” said James Wang.

The Paycheck Protection Program is a $349 billion emergency loan program created with the President’s signing of the CARES Act. The program provides forgivable loans up to $10 million to small businesses left financially distressed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The loans are administered at the local level by a national network of banks and credit unions and are designed to maintain the viability of millions of small businesses struggling to meet payroll and day-to-day operating expenses. Small businesses interested in the program should contact their local lenders.

 The loans, which are 100% backed by the Small Business Administration (SBA), are being provided to small businesses without collateral requirements, personal guarantees, SBA fees, or credit elsewhere tests.

 The loans cover up to eight weeks of average monthly payroll (based on 2019 figures) plus 25% and payments are deferred for six months (interest does accrue). The SBA will forgive the portion of loan proceeds used for payroll costs and other designated operating expenses for up to eight weeks, provided at least 75% of loan proceeds are used for payroll costs.

If businesses, non-profits, or constituents have questions about the loan program or need assistance, they are encouraged to reach out to Congressman LaHood’s Peoria District Office at (309) 671-7027.