WASHINGTON (WJZ) — Orrstown Bank took a trip to the White House Tuesday to discuss how the Paycheck Protection Program is helping small businesses across Maryland and Pennsylvania during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This week, the Small Business Administration made $310 billion in Paycheck Protection Program funding available to small businesses across the country to pump money into the struggling economy.


It’s a program that’s kept local businesses stay afloat

“It allows people, employees, small businesses to come back to keep going during this hard time,” Luke Bernstein, Orrstown Bank’s Executive Vice President, said.

It’s the second round of the program, and the bank has helped Maryland and Pennsylvania business owners get $370 million in commercial loans in just two weeks.

“We did more small business loans in 14 days than we did small business loans in our entire 101-year history,” Bernstein said.

Bernstein added that’s why he was asked to go and meet with President Donald Trump to discuss the impact of the program on dozens of local businesses.

“To take all of those collective stories down to the highest office in the land was pretty humbling,” he said.

With the help of Orrstown, Keith Williams received $900,000 for his business, Northbay Adventure. It’s an outdoor education program for kids in North East Maryland.

Williams works with schools to stay in business, but that all changed when the COVID-19 pandemic started.

“Our business is based on school students coming to us, and so as soon as schools closed down, we had no revenue coming in,” he said.

Williams said because of it, they’re able to pay and employ their 140 staff members through June. Its also allowed them to maintain their property and even invest in online programs.

“We’re extremely grateful that we have the opportunity to continue doing meaningful work,” he said.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Stetson Miller