The Hudson Highlands Nature Museum in Cornwall says it's able to continue its work in the community thanks to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

"When the dominoes started to fall last winter, we held out for few days and then we, like a lot of other businesses and nonprofits, decided to suspend our program," said Tom Bregman, executive director of the museum. "Without program revenue, we could not meet payroll, which in our case represents 80% of our costs."

They’ve managed to secure a total of $310,000 from the PPP so far, all of which was allocated to pay the staff there.

What You Need To Know

  • The Hudson Highlands Nature Museum is located in Cornwall, Orange County

  • The museum operates programs for all ages, including a Homeschool Naturalist program, which provides kids an opportunity to play, explore, and learn in the forest

  • The museum has received $310,000 from the Paycheck Protection Program 

"Our family has long valued and appreciated the nature museum for what it has provided, but never more so than this past year," said Sophie Rutimann, a local parent.

She, like many other parents, is grateful for community programming to help keep their kids engaged.

"The news that the Hudson Museum would be running summer camp, which was the only one I knew of, was the best news by far that we’d had all year long," she said.

Her kids, especially, were excited to return to the museum.

"To not have had summer camp after the four months of remote schooling, to (then) have the access to outside organized space with children, was like oxygen. It really made our summer fun," she said.

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney said, though not perfect, the program is working for the district.

"Eighty percent of these loans are under $150,000, and so it’s actually targeted to the smaller mom-and-pop or smaller businesses and nonprofits, like this one," he said.

The museum applied for loan forgiveness on their first loan in October and they were successful. Their loan was forgiven less than a month later.

Maloney is encouraging members of his district to call his office at (845) 561-1259 to get assistance in filling out applications. The deadline for the second draw is March 31.