Small Business Administration visits Luzerne County to meet business owners

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PITTSTON TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — One of President Donald Trump’s top cabinet members made a stop in Luzerne County Thursday. Administrator of the Small Business Administration Jovita Carranza stopped by Linde in Pittston Township.

Carranza’s two day tour started in Luzerne County. She wants see how the Paycheck Protection Program is helping business owners and what more the U.S. Small Business Administration can do for them as the country continue to battle COVID.

“I wanted to learn how they applied for the paycheck protection program funds and were they able to retain all of their employees and sustain their business,” said Carranza.

Carranza met with the owner of Linde, Congressmen Fred Keller and Dan Meuser, Cabot Oil and Gas representatives and others in a roundtable discussion before a tour.

“Several small businesses that were recipients of the PPP funds and their businesses were sustained, they considered it a lifeline,” said Carranza.

In Pennsylvania, 173,000 forgivable loans were given out totaling $20 billion. There is still $130 billion left in the fund that congress can pass.

“The best stimulus is a job. The small business and the employees work together to make sure they are successful. So we need to protect that and make sure the funds are available so they can take care of the payroll,” said Keller.

“We’re not out of this crisis yet so there is definitely still some work to do but Secretary Carranza knows the issues and leads the SBA,” said Meuser.

“For our purpose I think it did what it… was supposed to do,” said Scott Linde, owner of Linde.

Scott Linde received a PPP loan after the country was shut down at the height of the pandemic. He was able to use the money for payroll and operating costs. He says Carranza’s visit was welcomed.

“We just think it shows that they’re cognizant of the challenges that the government actually created for us with their (inaudible) and it’s nice to see them that they’re out here trying to help,” said Linde.

There is no word on when or if congress will vote to release the remaining funds from the PPP fund for a second round to help small businesses.

Carranza’s two-day tour will end with two stops tomorrow in Westmoreland County, near Pittsburgh.

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