Peoria Charter Coach lays off 95 percent of its workforce

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Peoria Charter Coach announced another round of layoffs Wednesday, reducing its workforce from 140 employees in March to eight employees.

We have scheduled runs out of Urbana to Chicago. 14 runs a day we were doing. We only have one run. Here is Peoria we have four runs that would go to Chicago, O’Hare Airport, and we have zero, and we won’t be opening it up until people feel comfortable. My emotions go to fold to the extremes. Sad. Angry. Sad. Angry. That’s how I feel, but I’m just thankful for the employees I have and that PPP money, and I look forward to the day when I can call my employees back.

Bill Winkler, President | Peoria Charter Coach

A statement on the company’s Facebook said they have reached out to several politicians for financial help, including Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) as well as Reps. Darin LaHood (IL-18) and Cheri Bustos (IL-17).

The company has been struggling to keep the business open due to COVID-19, but after receiving little aid, executives decided to share the news with the public.

The company received PPP funding in April, a loan that Peoria Charter President and owner Bill Winkler previously said is “providing Peoria Charter the opportunity to give employees back their jobs and livelihood.”

Peoria Charter also held a rally in Springfield to bring awareness to the situation in June.

They said the motor-coach industry has received $0 in federal aid while transportation companies like airlines, Amtrak, and city buses have received over $65 billion in federal aid. They said that a little over 99 percent of Peoria Charter’s business disappeared since Pritzker’s executive order was made on March 20.

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