McCune small business hopes Paycheck Protection Program will help them keep employees

Mccune Farm To Market

McCUNE, Ks. – The McCune Farm to Market is one of many 4-State small businesses that’s feeling the pinch from the pandemic. Their market remains open but they’ve been forced to close the cafe.

“When your business is half cafe and half grocery store, and when half of your income is pretty much gone, it makes it really tough for your employees. Our number one concern is keeping our employees paid, keeping our vendors paid, and providing a service for our community,” said Cherie Schenker.

Cherie Schenker and her husband are the owners of the McCune Farm to Market and they consider their employees to be family.

They’re hoping the Paycheck Protection Program from the Small Business Administration can help them keep the paychecks coming.

“We’ve personally gone without paychecks for several weeks just to make sure our employees are taken care of and our vendors are taken care of, because you can’t have things on the shelves if you’re not paying for them. That’s how it works,” said Cherie.

The Paycheck Protection Program provides $350 billion to American small businesses in the form of low interest loans.

The Small Business Administration says the program is designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll, and that loans will be forgiven if all employees are kept on payroll for eight weeks, and the money is used for paychecks, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.

But which businesses qualify?

“You have to be below 500 employees. If you’re over 500 employees, then it does not apply. There are some other SBA stipulations for specific industry groups, but the 500 standard usually covers you. If you’re 500 or below, you’re good to go,” said Randy Robinson, regional director of the Kansas Small Business Development Center in Pittsburg.

The McCune Farm to Market definitely meets that criteria but they know nothing is guaranteed, especially during a pandemic.

“I look at it this way: If it goes through, that’s great. If it doesn’t go through, we’re still where we’re at right now,” said Cherie.