This video testimonial is part of an application submission for #LendioSmallBusinessGrants. It’s about my experience with Lendio, my lender Ready Capitol, and the process of getting my SBA PPP loan submitted and approved.
I first learned of Lendio & the SBA PPP loan in early April from a client that I had been supporting for the past couple of years before the shutdown from the pandemic began. We had been following the news closely, as her industry was significantly impacted, with all hotels in Miami Beach having to cancel all reservations from mid-March until the beginning of June. Within the first few weeks of the shutdown, the business had lost over $90K in anticipated review from reservation cancellations on Airbnb and VRBO & HomeAway, and would ultimately lose over $200K and nearly had to shutdown and close out the business. We were on the hunt for how to keep the ship afloat when she informed me about Lendio, and how I should make a separate loan application for the SBA PPP loan as I am a small business owner, and consultant on her project.
I was able to submit my loan application and was approved before the announcement that the first round of the CARES Act funding had run out in mid April. I was greatly relieved to know that I had just made the cut, but was not yet clear on how funds would be dispersed, and still need to provide additional information to my lender, Ready Capitol, before the loan details would be finalized and set up to be deposited in my account. After about a month of intermittent communication with the lender, and holding my breath for the loan to be finalized, the money arrived, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. The CARES Act with the SBA PPP loan was a life saver in the sea of chaos brought upon us by the COVID-19 global pandemic and shutdown. I was already two months behind on my rent, had postponed my utility payments, and had to watch my relationship with my long time client dissolve as my contract had been terminated from the uncertainty brought on by this economic disaster.
Although I was approved for the SBA PPP loan, my client, Jasper Miami, was not. Our project was deemed to be a non-essential business, and I was a non-essential consultant on the project. There were a variety of factors that effected their eligibility, but thankfully I was approved for the loan, which again was an absolute life saver. I immediately used the funds as per the guidance provided by the SBA with 25% of the loan going to rent & utilities for my office, and the other 75% being paid as wages/salary to myself.
Although i have remained in good health, I have been dealing with an identity crisis, and something I have come to label as the non-essential blues. Not to mention that in early February I was involved in a collision on my motorcycle and before COVID-19 had a plan to pay off my medical bills, while also aspiring to become a property owner in the next year. I have had my company since 2014, and this sudden, totally unanticipated & unprecedented moment has totally flipped my life, business, goals, and vision for my future upside down. Had it not been for this loan, I would have been totally lost at sea and consumed by this chaos.
I have had a lot of time to reflect on everything, time to reassess my values, and pivot my business to get back to basics. It took a long time, loads of hard work, and energy to build myself up to the point that I had been at before the pandemic, but one of my greatest strengths is my resiliency in the face of challenges. I decided that I would use my wages to pay off a previous balance that I had with the University of Colorado @ Boulder, and finish the last few credits I have remaining to obtain my degree, and apply for graduate school for fall 2021.
I have registered for Summer classes starting on July 7th, 2020, and for Fall semester starting in late August. I am an entrepreneur, and know that committing to this path is a risk, especially considering that I do not have a way to pay for school mapped at out this current moment. With that said, as I am researching & applying for as many grants and scholarships that are available, I received the email that this grant would be available for recipients of the SBA PPP loan, and felt compelled to submit my application. This grant would enable me to have funding for my basic essentials, while also potentially granting me enough money to be able to pay off the tuition that I will owe from my current class load. With all of this taken care of, I will be able to have my application for graduate school submitted, and will hopefully be considered for admittance in the programs that I am applying for.