SC State 1890 Extension Assists Local Business in Keeping Workforce Employed

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Bennettsville, SC – Small businesses are reeling from the unavoidable effects of COVID-19. The global pandemic has impacted the revenue of an untold number of small businesses as customers were required to stay home as a safety precaution. Consequently, many businesses were forced to close, either temporarily or permanently. Despite the virus limiting in-persons programming, SC State University 1890 Extension continued its efforts to provide outreach services for South Carolinians facing challenges by assisting a local business.

Deborah Hardison, regional director for the 1890 Extension Pee Dee region, assisted Michael Cain, owner of BTU Rest Home, in securing a loan through the federally backed Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The funding provided assistance to the Bennettsville, S.C. business, which helped to keep Cain’s employees working while the virus impacted the state.

“Once I received an alert about the Small Business Administration (SBA) stimulus opportunities, I immediately informed Cain because I knew he was a small business owner who had essential employees,” said Hardison. “Unfortunately, we missed the first wave of available funding. However, not giving up, and keeping in constant communication with Cain, I finally received an alert from SBA notifying me that the second round of funding was available. I immediately contacted Cain and had him submit his application. As recommended by the SBA, he contacted his local bank and submitted his application there as well for approval. He contacted me later that day and informed me his loan was approved. Cain was able to maintain his workforce because of the loan.”

“It was a lifesaver getting approved for the PPP [loan] and maintain payroll for my employees,” said Cain, who’s family-owned business has been operating since 1970. “We operate 24/7, so it was vital that I did not lose any staff.” I am grateful for Deborah and her assistance in securing the loan. It is important to have programs like 1890 Extension, because it serves as a valuable resource for community businesses like BTU, especially during times like these during the pandemic,” Cain said.

The Paycheck Protection Program loan provides a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their employees on the businesses’ payroll. The SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the businesses’ payroll for eight weeks, and if the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities.

For more information on the Paycheck Protection Program, visit For more information on programs and outreach services provided by 1890 Extension, visit more