Nearly 300 Rome employers in loan program

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At least 269 employers in and around Rome are taking part in the federal Paycheck Protection Program to help them preserve more than 3,000 jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, according to data released this week by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
 
The employers are listed among 7,733 loans or initial loan decisions across the 22nd Congressional District, providing $239 million, according the SBA. Jobs retained number 98,794 in the congressional district.
 
The program was extended last week through Aug. 8.
 
The SBA said that listing of employers does not necessarily mean they have received loans, but have been approved by participating lenders, which are the banks, credit unions or other financial institutions that make the loans that are then guaranteed by the federal government.
PPP loans are made by lending institutions and then guaranteed by SBA. Borrowers apply to lenders and self-certify that they are eligible for PPP loans, according to the agency. The self- certification includes a good-faith certification that the borrower has economic need requiring the loan and that the borrower has applied the affiliation rules and is a small business. The lender then reviews the borrower’s application, and if all the paperwork is in order, approves the loan and submits it to SBA.
 
If all job-retention criteria are met, the loans are forgiven.
 
The PPP was created in the spring by Congress as part of the CARES Act, or Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, adopted March 27. It is intended to help employers of 500 or fewer workers.
 
It is the same program that came under criticism for benefiting many large equity-backed corporations such as the PF Chang restaurant chain or companies tied to high-level federal officials. Some large companies returned funds after their loans became publicly known.
 
The recipients in the Rome area include many of the area’s largest employers, such as the cybersecurity company AIS, Revere Copper, Kris Tech Wire Co., and Varflex Corporation.
 
The total includes 55 employers in Rome who got loans of $150,000 or more, and about 214 of less than that, whose names the SBA withheld from the data release. Because many small businesses or non-profit organizations may have as few as one employee, including their name may reveal personal income, the SBA said.
 
Most are for-profit companies, but the list includes not-for-profits such as the YMCA and Jervis Public Library, Rome Memorial Hospital, the Lutheran Home of Central New York in Clinton, and Mohawk Valley EDGE, or Economic Development Growth Enterprises Corporation, which carries out many economic-development programs on behalf of Oneida and Herkimer Counties. Munson-Williams-
Proctor Arts Institute of Utica and the Utica Zoo are also listed.
 
The Rome Sentinel Co., publisher of the Daily Sentinel, is listed in the category of $350,000 to $1 million, with the goal of preserving 48 jobs.
 
Rome Catholic High School is listed in the $150,000-$350,000 range.
 
Among other schools in the 22nd district listed are Notre Dame High School of Utica, Catholic Schools of Broome County in Binghamton, Northern Regional Catholic School of Oswego. Cazenovia College in Madison County is listed as initially approved for a loan of $2-5 million.
 
At least six churches are listed, though none in Rome or Oneida County.
 
Among recipients getting loans of $150,000 or more, they expected to retain 2,560 jobs in all. Among those under that amount, they said they are retaining 1,060 jobs.
 
AIS of Rome is among recipients or potential recipients of the largest grouping of aid within the 22nd Congressional District. Others in Oneida County in the $5-$10 million range include Slocum-Dickson Medical Group of New Hartford and Indium Corp. of Clinton.
 
“We at AIS have the honor of supporting the mission of our great nation and the men and women in uniform, and unfortunately, these essential missions don’t stop for pandemics,” President and Chief Executive Officer Charles Green said in a company statement. “During a time of such uncertainty, we are grateful for the Payroll Protection Program which has allowed us to continue to support the United States Department of Defense and bring our creativity and unique skills to our customers’ missions.”
 
Cathedral Corp of Rome is in the $2-5 million category, as is Cazenovia College in western Madison County.
 
Also listed as participating are companies that are major employers in rural areas of Oneida and Madison counties. Examples include Mystic Stamp Co. of Camden; Alder Creek Beverages and Delta Hardwood Flooring in Boonville; All Seasonings Ingredients of Oneida. Car and tractor dealers are included, as well as medical, dental and law practices.
 
Companies linked to the Democratic and Republican candidates for the 22nd Congressional District seat received loans. The Mid-York Press of Sherburne in Chenango County, where former Congresswoman Claudia Tenney, a Republican of New Hartford, is a co-owner, received a loan of $350,000 to $1 million through Bank of Utica to retain 78 jobs. The company is a commercial printer.
 
The law firm where Congressman Anthony Brindisi, D-22nd Dist. of Utica, used to work and where family members are among partners also received a loan. Brindisi, Murad, Brindisi & Pearlman of Utica received a loan of $150,000 to $350,000, also through Bank of Utica.
 
“Anthony Brindisi has not been affiliated with the Brindisi, Murad, Brindisi-Pearlman law firm since being sworn into Congress and is not involved in any way with the day-to-day operations or management decisions,” said Brindisi spokesman Luke Jackson.
 
Tenney is a part-owner in Mid-York Press, which employs 68 people, and owns shares in the Tenney family companies and is a trustee of her mother's estate, which owns shares in the companies including OMP Printing, according to campaign spokesman Sean Kennedy.
 
"The PPP assistance that Mid-York and its sister company, OMP Printing, located in Clinton, received enabled the companies to continue to employ all of its workforce," Kennedy added in an email to the Daily Sentinel. "Due to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 shutdown, the companies’ workload and sales were diminished. The true purpose of the PPP program was to provide stopgap assistance to small businesses like Mid-York and OMP Printing and to provide a means to pay employees. That is what the companies did and Claudia is relieved that we were able to help those employees provide for their families during the crisis."
 
Among lenders, M&T Bank of Buffalo was the dominant financial firm, involved in more than 25 percent of loan decisions in the 22nd Congressional District. Next was NBT Bank, with more than 17 percent of loan decisions, Adirondack Bank of Utica, with 9.3 percent, and KeyBank, at 9 percent.
 
Rome-based AmeriCU Federal Credit Union is the lender in six listed decisions among loans of $150,000 or more in the 22nd District, and 96 of less than that in New York state, according to the data.

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