Citing a spike in sales in April, Educational Development Corp. has repaid a $1.4 million load it received last month under the Paycheck Protection Program.

Company CEO Randall White explained that EDC had applied for the loan after sales fell 25% in March, its warehouse employees and staff began working reduced hours, and its corporate tenant asked for a 90 day delay in paying rent. “The impact of these events, along with the uncertainty of future sales volumes, supported our decision to request a loan under the recently announced Paycheck Protection Program,” White said in a statement.

Business in the company's direct sales division improved dramatically in April, however, following the closing of most schools and as parents sought ways to homeschool their children. Direct sales jumped 160% last month over April 2019, and so far, sales in May are also up. “Our ability to receive orders online and deliver directly to our customers’ homes has resulted in increased revenues,” White said.

In addition to parents looking for educational materials, the sales gain was driven by the addition of 5,000 home sales reps in April. While EDC’s publishing division continues to struggle this quarter, White said the support from its home reps, of which it now has 34,000, “has been tremendous. We look forward to our publishing division revenues returning as stores reopen in the upcoming weeks and look forward to returning revenues from our school book fairs and direct sales from booths at outdoor events in the [direct sales] division.”