Article by Mel Ulle

I wrote a couple months ago about the heartbreak, and then rage I felt when my company didn’t receive the PPP funding to support our employees. Later, we did receive that funding. Not only that, we also received an EIDL loan for our business.

The PPP saved jobs, and it kept food on tables, rent and mortgages paid. It had a real impact on our team. Our banker, Crystal Lung from Fortis Private Bank worked her tail off for us and we are forever grateful for her commitment to our team. She has always referred clients to us, invited us to events that could potentially help us, sent a million notes of encouragement. She is more than a banker. She is a cheerleader and our friend.

It is hard to articulate what PPP and EIDL have meant to my little company. We are staffed up. We are on an upward trajectory. We’re getting new clients again. We can invest for the first time ever in marketing our firm. We don’t yet know what that will look like, but we know we can do it.

We can launch online courses for development directors. This is another thing we have always wanted to do, but we never had the resources to invest in ourselves. Now we can. For the first time! You can’t see us doing a happy dance, but we are bringing our best moves.

Our SBA loan officer, Jeffrey Gomez, called me to talk about our EIDL application. He told me that our business looked really interesting. He asked me what it was like to work with nonprofits and we had a long conversation about the ups and downs of our work. He told me that our work was important. He told me that he had been working 7 days a week, but he felt that working for the SBA during this crazy time was really rewarding. He was enjoying himself although he said he hadn’t been able to spend much time with his family.

I almost cried with gratitude speaking with Jeffrey from the SBA. He was giving us a real lifeline. I thanked him repeatedly and he thanked me repeatedly for our work on behalf of nonprofit organizations. I blessed him for his help and he blessed me right back. It was a very human experience. One human helping another with the power of the SBA behind us.

It’s not very often that we applaud Congress, but I am grateful for this funding and it will keep my team employed, my family safe and secure and we will continue doing great work for great organizations. I am glad both sides found consensus and decided to make small businesses a priority. For real this time.

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank the SBA and the kindhearted Jeffrey Gomez and the amazing Crystal Lung for believing in our company and giving us another chance.

We will make you proud.

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