Access to capital is often the biggest issue for most small businesses.
Keeping up with capital demands and securing Small Business Administration (SBA) loans is difficult enough, but the pursuit of financing became doubly important during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many businesses had to navigate the process of securing federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) business loans.
With lockdowns and pandemic related health and safety concerns keeping customers away and cutting into revenues, the PPP loans were a vital tool for helping businesses stay afloat and make sure employees were paid.
For small businesses, the pandemic experience underscored the importance of having a trusted community banking partner.
Be Willing to Change
Companies like Pyramid Fine Art, Books & Custom Framing, which opened in Little Rock in 1988, have learned that it is important to be nimble, versatile, willing to change and work within a budget in order to truly realize where a company is in its financial situation.
Pyramid Fine Art, Books & Custom Framing, and its sister business Hearne Fine Art, are actually more like three businesses in one, creating their own different financial needs at different times. Which leads to one of the most important lessons of all — finding a reliable, local, financial institution with which to partner.
Arkansas mainstay U.S. Pizza secured its first business loan 12 years ago, and through the process of opening its first location the company learned the importance of clear communication when dealing with financing and day-to-day operations.
As it opened additional locations, U.S. Pizza encountered new challenges and steps to be taken. Challenges became even more pronounced during the pandemic and communicating to stakeholders, financial partners and customers was vital.
As restaurants were hit especially hard during the pandemic, reliable help from financial institutions proved to be a necessity for survival.
Find Trusted Partners
U.S. Pizza navigated its first and subsequent SBA loan processes and emerged from one of the toughest stretches in its existence thanks to a reliable banking partner. U.S. Pizza was able to work through its pandemic-related financial issues and secure PPP funding when it was most needed.
U.S. Pizza also found a banking partner who was willing to help initiate food orders for first responders and who was able to help test the restaurant’s curbside service for rollout to the general public.
Never has the value of a returned phone call been greater, and Pyramid Fine Art, Books & Custom Framing and Hearne Fine Art turned to Centennial for their COVID-related needs, especially when it came to the seemingly never ending questions about PPP financing.
Whether it’s resetting online banking passwords, answering simple transaction questions, helping to secure emergency funding or supporting a new venture, the COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated the important role a local bank like Centennial can play in the community and the businesses it supports.