By Scott R. Becker, Executive Director
May 14, 2020
I hope you are all well and getting by with the restrictions we all face during the Covid-19 Pandemic! Our thoughts and prayers go out to those that have been greatly impacted by this crisis and support those essential workers that help to keep supplies moving and people healthy.
With all the uncertainty these times bring I thought it would be helpful to update you on our finances. With all special events, regular operations, group tours, birthday parties cancelled this spring, the Museum has suffered a significant loss of revenue. Expenditures are being kept to a minimum. The Museum has been awarded a Small Business Administration (SBA) Payroll Protection Plan loan under the recently implemented CARES Act. This can be converted to a grant if we keep our employees on the payroll and can be used to cover much of our operating costs – including paid staff costs, utilities and rent (Accutrex offices) for eight weeks. Thanks to Walt Pilof for putting significant effort into applying for these funds and to Key Bank for processing the request! Our plan is to follow the guidelines so this loan can be forgiven by the SBA. Grants are also being applied for to help cover costs.
I also want to thank those that recently have made financial contributions to the Museum. Almost $4,000 was received through “Giving Tuesday” event on May 5th and this will help us get through these tough times! Those considering donating will be pleased to know that if you take the standard deduction on your 2020 tax return (the one you will file in 2021) you can claim the brand new “above the line” deduction up to $300 for cash (including check or credit card) donations made to the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum this year. This is part of the CARES Act that was mentioned above. For your convenience, the Museum has a special donate button on the PTM website (www.patrolley.org).
Our paid staff and department managers have been working hard on a reopening plan for the Museum that can be implemented once we are allowed to do so. We have also been involved with a Heritage Rail Alliance Covid-19 Task Force that has come up with Recommended Practices for Reopening. Your donations will be helpful in implementing such practices so we can keep the Museum safe for our volunteers, staff and visitors.
I plan to continue to keep you up to date as we navigate through this crisis. I wish you all the best of health and look forward to seeing you at the Museum after this crisis has passed! Your continued interest and support is most appreciated!