On March 27th, 2020, the Coro­n­avirus Aid, Relief, and Eco­nom­ic Secu­ri­ty Act (“CARES Act”), was signed into law and overnight changed the way Fed­er­al Gov­ern­ment embraced small busi­ness enter­prise in Amer­i­ca.  The Cares Act leg­is­la­tion, and more specif­i­cal­ly the Pay­check Pay­ment Pro­tec­tion (PPP) and Eco­nom­ic Injury Dis­as­ter Loan (EIDL), was a real­iza­tion that with­out sup­port­ing the small busi­ness sec­tor there was a real risk of the econ­o­my slip­ping into a deep reces­sion and even depression.

Small busi­ness account­ed for just under 42 per­cent of the gross nation­al prod­uct 2019 and in March of 2020 there was a fear that this pro­duc­tion out­put was in real jeop­ardy.   On the flip side, there were own­ers of small busi­ness that had seen their eco­nom­ic out­looks turned upside down out of no fault of their own.   This inter­sec­tion of nation­al and indi­vid­ual eco­nom­ic per­il is where we found our­selves as an advi­so­ry partner.

Our mar­ket promi­nence is root­ed in build­ing resilient busi­ness mod­els through long range finan­cial oper­at­ing sys­tem strate­gies.  Now in the blink of an eye, our focus had to shift to one of how to address very short-term strate­gies need­ed for sur­vival, while not aban­don­ing the long-range plan­ning goals we hold true.   The need to pro­vide imme­di­ate guid­ance and sup­port to the small busi­ness com­mu­ni­ty at-large was clear to us as a com­pa­ny ear­ly on in the crisis.

The deci­sion to pro­vide upfront guid­ance at no charge to as many small busi­ness­es as we pos­si­bly could became our inter­nal ral­ly­ing cry and shaped our efforts to give back.   We had tal­ents and we would offer up those tal­ents up in a vari­ety of ways to help.   It was that simple.

I became the team’s CARES Act expert and began work with small busi­ness­es (whether they were clients or not) to help nav­i­gate the PPP and EIDL loan land­scapes.   In the days, weeks and months that fol­lowed I began to encounter over and over again the true spir­it of the Nation’s entre­pre­neur­ial com­mu­ni­ty.  My unique col­lab­o­ra­tions with over 100 busi­ness own­ers, to secure fund­ing required to sup­port job reten­tion, was one of the sin­gle most reward­ing expe­ri­ences of my pro­fes­sion­al career.   I expe­ri­enced first­hand the true mea­sure of suc­cess for any busi­ness is the unyield­ing opti­mism of its lead­ers in the face of adver­si­ty.  It is an expe­ri­ence I will car­ry with me always.

Thank you, small busi­ness own­ers, everywhere.

Robert LaMothe
CARES Act Specialist