This is a question that crosses my mind on a daily basis right now. I wonder how your business is doing, have you had any successes or has it simply been a struggle to survive the last few months. I have had the opportunity to speak to several business owners since the pandemic was declared and the one common thread I see is backbone. Strength, determination, displaying grit; that kind of backbone.
For years people have said “small nusiness is the backbone of the economy”, never has this been truer. Each business owner is rallying their resources whether it be personal savings, creative thinking, or simply just getting out of bed each day. The emotions vary from day to day, some days feeling hopeful and looking ahead, and other days feeling abandoned and unsure of the future.
Many have spent the last few months trying to sort through and make sense of the various support programs as they are announced. These programs have provided hope to many, while others have fallen through the cracks. I did notice the trend though of those gaps being recognized and programs being modified, or new ones announced, to try to ensure everyone was included.
We were very excited when the Community Futures offices were included as a provider of the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) for businesses located in rural communities. For Windsor-Essex, this includes the communities of Amherstburg, Essex, Kingsville, LaSalle, Lakeshore, Leamington, Tecumseh and Pelee Island. We simplified our application form and streamlined the process to try to keep it as simple as possible to get approved for the funding.
I do understand that an extra loan to pay isn’t ideal, but since the interest rate is zero until December 31, 2022 and you don’t have to make any payments until then, the loan does allow you to pay any expenses you’ve had to defer and get back on track. As your revenues return, you can choose to pay any amount you want at any time. Our team will even help you figure out a payment strategy so you can get 75% of the loan paid before December 31, 2022 so you get the benefit of the 25% forgivable. The good news is, if you just cannot get it paid back by the end of 2022, you still have 3 more years to get it paid as it converts to a term loan with regular monthly payments at that time.
I find that many people do not apply for a program because they are uncertain of whether they are eligible, or they are not sure how the program works. Please feel free to give any one of our Team Members a call, we are always happy to answer any questions you have.
As we enter the summer months, I hope your determination and persistence pay off and soon things begin to level off and move forward to a new normal. Once again I ask, “How is your business doing” as well as “How can we help?”