The federal and state assistance she received to weather the COVID pandemic has been more than just money for Susan Danenberger.
“It’s definitely been a miracle,” said the owner of Danenberger Family Vineyards in New Berlin.
Danenberger was able to secure a $20,000 forgivable loan through the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and was also among the nine Sangamon County businesses that received a Hospitality Emergency Grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).
The PPP loan helped Danenberger to bring nine laid-off employees back on the payroll, and the state money allowed her to purchase bottles, corks and labels to prepare finished wine for sale.
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“It was one of those things where you’re like, ‘OK, what the heck, I’ll apply,’” Danenberger said. “It has been such a blessing; I can’t even tell you.”
Other Sangamon County businesses that were chosen through a lottery process to share in the $14 million DCEO Hospitality Grant included two taverns, four hotels, a restaurant and a catering operation (see accompanying story). Many more area business owners were able to take advantage of the $349 billion in PPP loans, which are forgivable if no less than 75% of the funds are used to retain employees during the pandemic. Cindy Davis of Resource One in Springfield is one of those business owners.
“I found out about it through a best practice group that I belong to,” said Davis of her $360,000 PPP loan. “We are going to use the money to pay for people to stay employed that would normally have been laid off.”