I am exhausted. I am nervous. I am a small business. When I heard of the CARES Act and how they were investing in the small businesses and providing economic relief which came as a forgivable loan, I was thrilled.
It was called the Payroll Protection Plan (PPP), thank GOD. I was ready, we needed it. As sales significant decreased so did the investors and our seed round was now at a halt because everyone stopped. Money stopped. Even with the PPP, that money ran out at record speed with the shocking news that huge corporations and publicly traded companies got it. Or smaller lenders who were efficient and took charge for their customers, they were the lucky participants of the PPP.
I thought I was doing it the right way. I read all the requirements, checked with my bank Wells Fargo, and diligently waited for my turn to submit the pre-screen. I waited every hour on the hour while the media told me time was running out. How is that so if my bank has not even given me the opportunity to apply? Not even apply, I was waiting pre-apply.
I attend Zoom meeting, I read the requirements, I attended webinars, I gathered my documents and I think I am prepared.
The webinars said you need a prior relationship with the bank to submit the application. SO, I WAIT for Wells Fargo to let me apply but nothing. No information, just a FAQ’s telling me to wait for a link to do a pre-screen. 2 or 3 days later, there is the infamous link. I apply. I wait.
I get an email from Wells Fargo saying that due to difficulties and high volume of applicants that ‘maybe I should apply somewhere else to ensure I get it’. I did not know I could do that! Why didn’t I do that? I thought I had to wait for my own bank because that was where I had my business account. I thought I HAD TO WAIT, now we are 3-4 days into the first round, and I panic.
I apply with a local bank, make the appointment, get my documents, talk to the business banker, and feel confident that I was being proactive. Then came the call two hours before our scheduled meeting. “We have run out of money and are no longer accepting PPP applications. We are so sorry”. Not again, I was so close, so so so close.
So, I ran after the PPP, I applied online with a company called Fundera. I applied only to be told that they would then match me to a qualified bank. I thought I was submitting an application. No, I was just submitting it to be approved for matching lenders. So, I WAIT, as money runs out and the pit of my stomach is tight with worry, I wait.
The email comes, I am matched with XXX Bank which now requires me to fill out their application, so I fill out yet another application. No problem, I have been here before. How many applications have I submitted? No worries, I caught the PPP Loan, so I thought.
2 days later, I get an email stating that, “Unfortunately, we have just received news from XXX Bank that, due to recent changes within their internal system, you will need to submit a new application through their updated system in order to have your application reviewed. We know this is frustrating news, so we want to make sure you're aware of your options:” Oh my gosh, are you kidding me?
Now granted, I started chasing the PPP the day it was available on 4/3/2020, I missed that window because of all the chasing that happened and then the PPP ran out of money. It is 4/23/2020 and the 2nd round of funding just got approved.
Fundera told me that I can resubmit my application through their updated system or be matched with a new lender that will accept my application. I chose the latter. So, I match with another bank XXX Bank and I submit the application again, feeling very familiar with the process. And now I wait. I only have one question.
Why is it a chase, why is this so hard? This process should not be this hard. However, this is the truth for the small business owner who does not have a relationship with their bank. I DO NOT HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH MY BANK, it has made that clear. Crystal clear, so I will find a local bank. Which is what I should have done at the beginning. Lesson learned again ,just because they are big does not make them better. A local NM bank will be getting our business. I can guarantee that. Until then my chase continued.
So, I am now stalking my email, day night morning, waiting for my new match’s reply. Why does this feel like I am in a new relationship, waiting for an email to confirm that indeed you did accept me?
I look at my email, no response from this new bank, no thanking me for applying and assuring me it has gone through. So now I wonder, do I apply to Square Capital who just sent me a message they can start the process with me all over again?
No, no I do not. I need to give it away. I am no longer going to chase you.
I submitted an application and I will be confident that is all I need to do, and I will now move on. I must move on. I need my business to succeed with or without this loan.
I am going to move on, I will focus on how to get my company on Amazon, get a portfolio with Sephora built and take charge, which is why I am the CEO. Which is why our business will survive.
I am no longer chasing you Payroll Protection Plan. I will oversee my destiny. I still want to quality, but we will succeed either way. This I am sure.
Deep breath, slowly exhale, smile, laugh, that a girl. Let’s go get em’.
With fierce determination,
K&K Skin Products
** Update as soon as this was written and I had made the decision to move forward, I get a call from a local New Mexico organization, Project Preserve. I have an opportunity to submit an application with a local bank that was partnering with them in order to help small businesses. The moment I think I am done with the chase, the PPP turns around to chase me. Ironic perhaps.
I am grateful for the entrepreneur community that is supporting one another during this time.
Thank you Burgmaier & Associates for your webinars that kept me informed and empowered.
Thank you T.J. and ABQid for giving us resources and information on how we can access the programs designed for us.
Stay tuned, the chasing of the PPP will be continued...
WE DID IT!! We were approved. I can't believe my eyes but it is true. It was through the Project Preserve that we found the lender,US Eagle Federal Credit Union. They helped us tremendously and I was able to speak to real life people! It was through their help and assistance that our PPP Loan was approved. It goes to show that local banks, in this case a credit union is the best bet for customer service and follow through. Lesson learned. As a small business I couldn't be more happy and grateful. Thank you!!!
Now to make K&K successful through this time. I appreciate you reading. Do you have a similar story? Successes? Defeats? Share your story with us!