Michael Vallante: Supporting U.S. entrepreneurs’ resiliency (Voices)
One thing entrepreneurs know how to do is solve problems; they are resilient. COVID-19 is an unprecedented challenge, impacting every main street in America.
Now more than ever, there is widespread consumer awareness of how small businesses are the heartbeat of local economies.
The Paycheck Protection Program provided over $500 billion to assist small businesses across the nation with retaining employees on payroll. The PPP has allowed small businesses the ability to keep their employees while they find solutions to today’s challenges. Solutions, such as creating outdoor dining and services, contactless door pick-up, door delivery, online orders, online events, and the list goes on.
Businesses are not only finding creative ways of surviving, but many are also creating means to support other businesses’ recovery, and in the process, they are creating new jobs to meet today’s business needs.
Businesses like eConnect, located in Nevada, received a PPP loan that allowed them not only to keep staff on payroll, but also develop a new product for the safe reopening of other businesses, and to hire new staff; eConnect pivoted its operations and shifted to developing “eClear,” a self-serve temperature check kiosk, allowing businesses and public spaces to begin opening up while observing local ordinances and keeping the public safe.
It is not surprising that the latest jobs report indicated nearly 1.4 million jobs added in August, making it the fourth month in a row of over 1 million jobs added.
A record 10.6 million jobs have been gained since April, bringing back about 50% of the jobs lost from the lockdowns.
The amount of jobs added to the U.S. economy over the past four months has surpassed expectations by a combined 12.2 million jobs. The August unemployment rate drop is the second largest decrease on record. The unemployment rate has already fallen below the peak unemployment rate from the great recession of 10.0%.
The unemployment rate has fallen to a level that some forecasters didn’t expect to reach even by the end of the year. This demonstrates the resiliency of entrepreneurs with the support of the PPP for their business and employees.
As the Regional Administrator for the Pacific Rim for SBA, and as Associate Administrator for the Office of Field Operations for our agency, SBA is ready to continue assisting, whether in-person, on the phone, or virtually through a webinar; we are here for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Information about PPP forgiveness and other SBA resources are available online at SBA.gov.
Michael Vallante is the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Associate Administrator for the Office of Field Operations, overseeing the 68 district offices and nine Regional Administrators; and Regional Administrator for Region IX, overseeing the agency’s programs and services in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and Guam. Go to sba.gov/offices/regional/ix to learn more.
With passenger visits down 54% YOY at Reno-Tahoe International Airport, NNBW reporter Kaleb M. Roedel recently sat down with new CEO Daren Griffin to talk about COVID challenges, winter travel predictions and the biggest challenges and opportunities on the horizon.