In the Spring of 2020, the federal government rolled out the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help provide support for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The initial round of the plan was based on the desire to maintain employees on payroll regardless of the impact of COVID closures, rather than laying people off and taxing an already overwhelmed unemployment program.
Hilltop was eligible for and received funds in the amount of $318,000 at a time when the level of uncertainty for how schools might be able to operate was very high. Not only did these proceeds allow us to maintain employment for all staff willing and able to work, but even better is that these funds have recently been approved for forgiveness!
After the initial success of the first round of PPP funds a second program was announced towards the end of 2020 and early 2021. This second round of PPP funding is based on any potential year over year decline in revenue, calculated quarterly, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Because we limited enrollment to provide for smaller group sizes to reduce the risk of COVID transmission, we lost a substantial amount of revenue as compared to the previous year. This was further compounded by providing COVID Hardship assistance to many families. As a result of this decline, we were again eligible for and received a second grant (also for $318,000) that has allowed us to continue to move into the upcoming school year with a much greater sense of security. We were able to add the staff, equipment, and procedures to be safe, despite the decline in tuition revenue. Similarly to the first loan, Hilltop will apply for and expects to be granted forgiveness of this second loan as well.
We have also qualified for the Corona Response Relief Supplementation Act (CRRSA) Funding that provided $27,000 to help cover childcare expenses during this year of COVID. This funding was unanticipated and we were able to use it in the form of bonuses. We feel our dedicated staff earned this bonus for committing to in-person learning, 5-days a week, for the entire school year! A feat only a few schools in the entire country can say they were able to accomplish this year!
- Round One PPP: $318,000 received for payroll retention in spring of 2020 and now fully forgiven!
- Round Two PPP: $318,000 received in February of 2021 due to quarterly year over year decline in revenue greater than 25%.
- CRRSA: $27,000 to offset childcare expenses helped cover Children’s House salaries and enabled us to give bonuses to our extremely dedicated teachers and staff.
This Federal funding enabled us to keep staff, cover additional COVID expenses, and sustain in-person learning year-round without having to make a dangerously large withdrawal from our endowment. We did make a significant draw of $180,000 from the endowment, and were able to maintain our principle to further support the future sustainability of the school along with continuing to support equity.