SBDC and COVID-19 Crisis
September 07, 2020
These were trying times for every small business. Everyone I have worked with were doing the best they could for their customers and employees. They should all be celebrated. It was also trying times for lenders as they assisted clients with SBA PPP forgivable loans. I have to give a tip of the hat to our local lenders, CPAs, and the SBDC staff, who together worked very hard and long hours with small business clients seeking PPP loans. They did their best to make sure they received loans if they were eligible. Lenders were also offering deferments and workouts on some existing loans for their small business clients.
In addition to the SBA PPP loans through lenders, the hard-working SBDC staff assisted many small business owners to apply for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), which were direct loans from the SBA. These long term and low-interest loans, along with PPP forgivable loans received from their lender have helped many small business owners through this crisis, at least temporarily.
Early on in the crisis, the local economic development partners created the Economic Resources Task Force led by the Chamber of Commerce and COSADC. By working together, they developed a recovery plan for the small business community. This recovery plan focused on business advising and training, funding sources, networking, mentoring, mindset, local government support, local media support, and workforce rehire, recruit, and train. As usual, the local economic development partners quickly and easily came together to help the business community. There are few partnerships like this in Texas. It is a better community because the partners work together. A tip of the hat also to Workforce Board and Solutions for the work they did helping small businesses with employee issues related to the crisis.
Going forward there is optimism as Congress reconvenes. We hope they will address among other matters the second round of PPP forgivable loans and address the blanket (auto) forgiveness for PPP loans under $150,000.
As small businesses continue recovery efforts, the SBDC staff is assisting many clients on COVID 19 and other related issues through no-cost one-on-one advising and no to low-cost webinar training. We are assisting clients with regular and alternative funding sources, marketing, business model, human resource issues, and assisting with COVID 19 mitigation procedures. Some small businesses are taking the time to expand their businesses and some are even opening new businesses. History has shown that there can be an opportunity even in adversity.
We are not out of the woods yet, and with some exceptions, many small businesses are continuing to experience reduced revenue due to capacity restrictions and due to their clients not coming back in pre-COVID 19 numbers because of health and safety concerns. Unfortunately, some businesses will not recover.
However, I hope we are turning the corner on this crisis as COVID 19 cases continue to decrease and most everyone is serious about mitigation procedures and practices. We are hopeful to report in the coming months that for many small businesses, the crisis will be over and recovery will be in sight.
“Business Tips” was written by Dave Erickson, Director and Certified Business Advisor, of Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center. For more information on the topic of this article or the services of the ASU · SBDC, contact him at David.Erickson@angelo.edu.