Small businesses across the country are really hurting. And of course we are one of these. The expenses continue, but our income is currently non-existent.
We want to be open for business, we think we are all Covid free. However, we do not want to endanger ourselves or anyone else by opening too soon.
We are doing our best to figure out how our business model can work in the future, not knowing when or what the future will be.
We have tried to rapidly respond to all loan and grant offerings as soon as we heard about them. To date we were very early applicants for the SBA EIDL (both the loan and the advance), the SBA PPP loan , and the Emergency Relief Assistance from the Glass Art Society(GAS).
We submitted our request to the Glass Art Society for funding on March 29th. We were notified by GAS on April 13th that are submission was accepted and that we will be receiving a small grant from them. We love GAS and are thrilled that they are able to support a small, hardworking studio like ours! We hope that we will be able to give back to them in the future! Thank you Glass Art Society for your support!
We applied for the PPP loan through Frost Bank. We have our business loan for our campus property and we have our business checking with them. We were contacted by Trent Eckel, Assistant VP for corporate banking, on April 1st about the PPP loan. We immediately submitted our Initial forms and worked with Trent on about three different versions. Our final submission was made on April 8th. We were notified by Trent on April 15th that we would be funded. We received the funding today, April 21st. Thank you Congress for the CARES Act, SBA, Trent Eckels and Frost Bank. You are supplying hope! Glassblowing studios have really high expenses! The amount of this loan is helpful and forgivable under a number of specific criteria.
The first application we submitted was through the Small Business Association (SBA). We applied online for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Advance on March 29th. We received a number and the submission said we would hear back in a couple of days. We have heard nothing! The concept for these is that you receive a $10k advance that you are not required to pay back, even if you don’t receive the loan. The website has changed multiple times (early on). The directions said to email or call for more information. We initially tried both and finally received an email on April 11th. It indicated they were still processing all the requests and that companies would be eligible for the $10k advance and up to two months of working capital, capped at $15k. They said they would contact us when processing of our submission was complete. Recently we sent another email and received an automated reply saying thanks for reaching out, giving a link to apply for a loan ( following the link it said no more applications were being received), so we tried calling the SBA and did get a human. They had no information available, they just said that we would be notified when the submission was processed.
Yes, we are lucky to have some funds coming in from GAS and the PPP loan through Frost. We believe that this success is through relationships versus being a total unknown, like every other business, with the inundated SBA. These monies will help. We plan to use them to keep our contractors at work once we are able to open the studio. Much more is needed to make up for the income lost to date, without even included a forecast for future losses.
However, we are in total support of allowing the scientific data to guide us in when to open. We have to reach a peak and get on the other side before we open the economy.
We are sharing our story in hopes that it will benefit yours.
Stay safe – use social distancing and wear masks.
Be thoughtful and kind.