TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved loans to protect nearly 13,000 jobs in the county in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Tompkins County Area Development (TCAD).

SBA approved the loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and will forgive loans if employers maintain or re-hire their full staff and if they maintain employee’s wages.

In reviewing the program’s loan approval data, TCAD found that 1,255 local businesses were approved to receive PPP loans, projected to protect 12,739 jobs.

“The support of PPP certainly helped our economic outlook here in Ithaca and Tompkins County,” said TCAD President Heather McDaniel in a press release. “Without this much-needed assistance, unemployment rates would be much greater and likely more businesses would never reopen.”

Multiple industries in Tompkins County received loans protecting over 1,000 jobs each, including Accommodation and Food Services; Health Care and Social Assistance; Retail Trade; and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services.

Larry Baum, TCAD Board Chair and Founder of The Computing Center, said the Paycheck Protection Program helped his business run smoothly despite the pandemic.

“PPP helped keep The Computing Center’s 21 staff members employed and benefits fully paid,” Baum said. “It also allowed many of our clients to continue operations and keep their staff in place as well.”

TCAD also said that three-quarters of all PPP loans were approved by local banks, including Tompkins Trust Company, Elmira Savings Bank.

While there is some indication that an extension or additional round of PPP loans could be available in an upcoming stimulus package. the SBA is currently accepting applications to the current Paycheck Protection Program, due August 8. Small businesses, independent contractors, and others are eligible to apply.