‘We always saved for a rainy day’: Richmond auto shop taking financial hit to keep workers on payroll

Richmond

(WRIC) — With news of additional federal funding in the works, some small businesses in RVA are hoping their applications for the Paycheck Protection Program will be approved.

Before the breweries and restaurants, there was Koontz Paint and Bodyworks, a staple in Scott’s Addition for 13 years. Koontz is also the co-owner of Boulevard Tire along Arthur Ashe Boulevard. But with a stay-at-home order in place across Virginia, Koontz says business is hurting.

“We normally run about 40-50 cars a week through here, and we’re down to about 15,” Koontz said. “Terrible…its about half of what it normally is.”

Koontz tells 8News a typical month of business would generate about $400,000. Right now, though, he says its more like $160,000 a month in auto body work. Without that revenue — and 24 employees still on payroll — Koontz doesn’t know how much longer he can survive financially.

“We always saved for a rainy day in case something happened,” he told 8News. “But I never would’ve thought it would’ve been this.”

Koontz tried applying for the first round of federal loans with the “Paycheck Protection Program.” But that money dried up — and fast. He wasn’t approved for any financial assistance.

Now with a second round of federal funding becoming available, Koontz says he applied through three different banks — crossing his fingers that one of them pulls through. He says he wants to keep his workers employed because they all have responsibilities at home.

“You know there’s 24 families here,” he said, “so that’s a lot to worry about.”

Once this pandemic is in the rear-view mirror, Koontz is calling on everybody to support small — and support local.

“When we get back to the other side of this, make sure you support them,” said Koontz.

This small business in Richmond is not sure when it will find out if its been approved for federal relief money. If they are approved for a small business loan through the PPP, it would only cover payroll for eight weeks.

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