Bus company lays off 95% of workforce due to financial impact of pandemic

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URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Peoria Charter Coach Company announced Wednesday it has been forced to reduce its staffing down to only eight employees because of the financial impact their company has faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a press release, it said 99.2 % of their business has disappeared since Governor’s JB Pritzker’s shelter-at-home order was issued March 20, when they had a staff of 140. The release also stated that Personal Paycheck Protection (PPP) loan money is running out and their company, and industry, was “in jeopardy.”

On Tuesday, they put the call out for help on social media asking people to contact their senator to express support for the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Act, which dedicates financial aid to the bus industry.

Peoria Charter also sent several letters to Pritzker’s office requesting a $300,000 grant out the $900 million in state assistance announced in June. The letter stated they had over $3 million in cancellations since March.

The bus company said they have received no response from Pritzker’s office, as well as no money from the sate.

“We have gone from a thriving, successful business in March to an unstable, idle business desperately needing assistance and unable to find it,” it said in the press release. “While Airlines, Amtrak, and City Buses have received over $65 Billion in federal aid, the motorcoach industry has received zero.”

Peoria Charter Coach is a fourth-generation, family-owned company that has been providing transportation services for 79 years.

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