HAZARD, KY – The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has placed a heavy financial burden on families and businesses alike, but some much-needed relief has already arrived. Congressman Hal Rogers secured funding through the CARES Act and other federal legislation to help sustain jobs and provide stimulus funding during this national crisis. This week more than 80 million Americans received Economic Impact Payments as part of the CARES Act, with additional payments scheduled in the weeks ahead. Dozens of hospitals and businesses in Southern and Eastern Kentucky have also received assistance through the Payroll Protection Program and emergency loans made available through the legislation that Congressman Rogers helped shape and voted for.
For example, thanks to the CARES Act, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will make loan payments of nearly $124,000 over six months on SBA Microloans and Community Advantage Loans that the Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation (SKED) has made to businesses throughout Southern and Eastern Kentucky.
Hurley Electrical Contracting (HEC) in Hazard, Kentucky was one of nearly 40 businesses that received notification from SKED last week that its SBA Microloan would be covered for six months, including principle and interest payments.
“I don’t know a single small business owner who was prepared for this pandemic. It’s something you’d never expect to happen, especially here in a rural area like ours. It can rattle you if you let it and make you question the future of your business. But the loan payment deferment, made possible by the Cares Act, has given us peace of mind during this uncertain time that we can keep our employees working and our contracts fulfilled for those businesses and people who depend on our work here,” said Frank Hurley, Founder/CEO of HEC.
Congressman Rogers launched SKED 34 years ago to create new jobs and recruit new industries in Kentucky’s Appalachian region. SKED has successfully helped create and retain more than 10,000 jobs in its 45-county service area.
"In every season, job creation has been a top priority of mine in Southern and Eastern Kentucky," said Congressman Rogers. "SKED has provided fundamental seed loans and other funding to support business growth and expansion right here in our backyard. Now, more than ever, their work is critical to ensure we can protect as many jobs as possible through this coronavirus pandemic, and it's good to hear from local businesses who are getting the help they need once again."
Hurley Electrical Contracting has grown from three employees in 2015 to nearly 40 this year, with employees primarily from Perry, Leslie and Breathitt Counties.
“SKED gave us the loan we needed to get our business going in 2015. They were there for us when we needed the initial funding to get going, have worked with us during challenging financial times and helped us market our business across Southeast Kentucky,” Hurley said.
"We're honored to help our local businesses through this national crisis in any way we can. Thanks to Congressman Rogers, SKED is able to use the money he secured at the federal level to make critical loan payments for some of the businesses we serve," said Brett Traver, Executive Director of SKED. "The best thing we can do right now is help retain as many jobs as possible and provide confidence to our local employers. We will get through this together."
PHOTO: HEC Employees in Hazard, Kentucky