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Local Non Profits Experience Difficulties Applying for Payment Protection Program

April 26th, 2020, 6:16 PM

This article was originally published on

By Chelsea Swift

Local non profits experience difficulties applying for payment protection program

Like many businesses in Erie, non profits are experiencing difficulties applying for the payment protection program.

We spoke with directors of non profits to see how employees are being impacted. We checked in with administrators at the Erie Playhouse and PACA to find out how they are holding up during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We have had to furlough our entire staff with the exception of myself and our business manager who's working as well," said Kate Neubert Lechner, Executive Director of the Erie Playhouse.

The Executive Director of the Erie Playhouse said that after furloughing all 16 employees, she applied for the payment protection plan to keep employees on the payroll.

"Unfortunately we were one of those businesses that did not get our approval on our application through until the funds ran out. So we're kind of in a position of hoping that there are more funds that will finally be made available," said Lechner.

Fortunately for the playhouse though employees have received there stimulus checks.

"To the best of my knowledge, all of my employees have received there stimulus checks," said Lechner.

Meanwhile at PACA, employees have not been laid off. However, money that was intended for other expenses is going towards rent.

"We've been able to keep everybody on pay roll, but like I said it's a little bit of robbing Peter to pay Paul. We're gonna take money maybe from the roof account to help keep people on pay roll or you know use that to boost the rent that maybe we're losing this month," said Ken Falkenhagen, PACA Administrator.

PACA Administrator said he's also had trouble applying for the payment protection program.

"They weren't accepting our application because they had run out of money, but the folks at Northwest have been great. They put the application in as soon as money is back available so we're still waiting on that," said Falkenhagen.

Coming up in May and June, the Playhouse is going to live stream performances of some plays on their website.

This will be something to keep you entertained during this stay at home order.

Watch the intervew: 

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