ASU Team Helps Small Businesses Navigate COVID-19
During the COVID-19 crisis that began in March of this year, staff at ASU’s Small Business Development Center assisted many small business owners in obtaining emergency funding due to the closure of their businesses. ‘non-essential businesses.
It was a difficult time for all small businesses. Everyone I worked with did their best for their customers and employees. They should all be celebrated.
It was also a difficult time for lenders as they were helping clients with SBA PPP forgivable loans. I have to salute our local lenders, CPAs and SBDC staff, who have worked very long hours together with small business clients looking for PPP loans. They did their best to make sure they got loans if they qualified. Lenders also offered deferrals and adjustments on some existing loans to their small business clients.
In addition to the SBA’s PPP loans through lenders, hard-working SBDC staff helped many small business owners apply for the SBA’s Economic Disaster Loans (EIDLs), which were direct loans from the SBA. the SBA. These long-term, low-interest loans, along with the PPP forgivable loans received from their lender, have helped many small business owners get through this crisis, at least temporarily.
At the onset of the crisis, local economic development partners created the Economic Resources Working Group led by the Chamber of Commerce and COSADC. Working together, they crafted a stimulus package for the small business community. This stimulus plan focused on business consulting and training, funding sources, networking, mentoring, mindset, local government support, local media support and rehiring, recruiting and workforce training.
As usual, local economic development partners quickly and easily came together to help the business community. There are few partnerships like this in Texas. It’s a better community because the partners work together. Hats off to Workforce Board and Solutions as well for the work they have done in helping small businesses resolve employee issues related to the crisis.
Looking ahead, optimism reigns as Congress reconvenes. We hope they will address, among other things, the second round of PPP forgivable loans and the global (auto) forgiveness for PPP loans under $ 150,000.
As small businesses continue their recovery efforts, SBDC staff are helping many clients on COVID 19 and other related issues with free one-on-one counseling and non-low cost webinar training.
We assist our clients with regular and alternative funding sources, marketing, business model, human resource issues, and COVID-19 mitigation procedures. Some small businesses take the time to develop their businesses and some even open new ones. History has shown that there can be opportunity even in the face of adversity.
We’re not out of the woods yet, and with a few exceptions, many small businesses continue to see their revenues drop due to capacity restrictions and their customers not returning to pre-COVID 19 numbers due to health and safety issues. Unfortunately, some companies will not recover.
However, I hope we get past this crisis as cases of COVID 19 continue to decline and almost everyone takes mitigation procedures and practices seriously. We hope to be able to announce in the coming months that for many small businesses the crisis will be over and the recovery will be in sight.
“Business Advice” was authored by Dave Erickson, Director and Certified Business Advisor, Small Business Development Center at Angelo State University. For more information on the topic of this article or the services of ASU · SBDC, contact him at [email protected] If you enjoy local journalism, consider a digital subscription to GoSanAngelo.com. follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates. Send topical tips to [email protected]