ENDICOTT, NY – M&T Bank says it has helped nearly 2,000 businesses across the Southern Tier access an important federal program in their pandemic advocacy.
M and T said it helped 18 hundred regional companies, including The North Brewery on Washington Avenue in Endicott, get $ 265 million in Payroll Protection Program funding.
The North received a couple of forgiven debts, allowing it to retain key members of its staff.
Co-Owner and operator Zach Pedley said the craft brewery kept its head above water during the first months of the lockdown as loyal customers bought beer to go.
However, because restaurants and bars are allowed to partially reopen, they compete with beers and wine bars with limited customers willing to go out to eat and drink.
Pedley said that last Fall he was on the verge of letting all his staff know.
“Without money, there is no money. You will need to make the right business moves to keep the business going. We found out about the PPP program, M&T Bank helped us, great people there. We awarded that and it helped keep the salary of our employees for that time which was rough and helped us a lot, ”Pedley said.
Pedley said The North is still not fully back to pre-pandemic work but things are looking up.
Carl Speicher is Vice President for Business Banking at M&T.
He said the bank’s small business loan department has swelled from 20 to 2,000 loan officers as they process PPP around the clock.
“We were at a point where we were the first to respond for the business community. We felt like we were really helping and really inspiring. It inspired us at that time because it was a fun time working these crazy hours,” he said. Speicher.
Speicher said that while the PPP program is over, banks can still assist customers in securing Small Business Administration emergency loans.