HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The HudsonAlpha Institute had a hard year like most non-profits. For the institute, which relies on grants, research and philanthropy for most of its funding and to keep its doors open, that was a big concern during the pandemic.
Many entities applied for the Payment Protection Program (PPP) offered by the federal government during the pandemic. The program served as a relief to help keep employees on its payroll.
HudsonAlpha received one of the PPP loans in Alabama, which helped the non-profit stay afloat.
Chief Financial Officer for HudsonAlpha Peter Yanul stated that loan allowed them to allow research during such an important time.
“It really helped us, we could maintain our cash flow, we kept our employees on board,” Yanul said, “The work still went on even at reduced levels there still was a lot of activity and research that was going on.”
A 3.4 million dollar loan is what helped keep the institute afloat and its employees with jobs, which Yanul said was at the top of the list when the pandemic hit.
The institute did have funds, but they were allocated for specific reasons, an option during the pandemic was talking to board members about possibly using it for relief, if needed.
“We made a decision that we wanted to keep employees whole, we didn’t want to have any type of layoffs, let people go,” he added. “The institute has over 40 other companies on its campus, so keeping its doors open was vital to those companies… there really were people during the pandemic that needed to be here.”
Yanul says if they didn’t receive that loan, it could have been a more grave situation.
“Worst case scenario, if we had to get into cost-cutting, we may have had to have some type of layoffs, although that would have been the very last option that we would have wanted to do and we never wanted to do that before,” Yanul continued. “We certainly didn’t want to start last year, people were impacted enough without being impacted with their jobs.”
He said while the financial team had to pull a lot of information in order to even apply for the loan, they deserve commendation for not only putting it together, but ultimately understanding the process.
“We have a very good relationship with our outside auditors, we worked with them. We wanted to make sure we were meeting the intent of the PPP loan and the auditors felt, yes, definitely what we were doing here we were meeting the intent,” Yanul stated, which was all before even going through the approval process.
As information was gathered and the application was submitted, Yanul said it wasn’t long before they heard back that they had gotten approved.
That loan not only helped the institute, but it played a vital role in Covid-19 research during the pandemic.
“You know some stuff was going on in the labs, we have company’s here that were looking at potential testing, ways to test for the virus,” Yanul concluded. “Actually we’ve supported another organization as far as testing as well so, I think that was important that showed how important it was for HudsonAlpha to remain open and have its doors open with a lot of the work that was going on here.”