COLORADO SPRINGS — Many small businesses and nonprofits are receiving some sort of financial assistance, but there are still plenty out there that need help getting back on their feet.
A local initiative known as Survive & Thrive is doing what it can to lend a hand. The program is connected to Exponential Impact which has collaborated with other organizations. It was launched at the end of March and has provided over $2 million in loan funding for businesses and nonprofits as well as mentoring.
Jay Beno, one of the loan recipients, said, "It's created a lot of unknowns for us."
The owner/operator of America's Mattress is referring to COVID-19.
"We had to shut down in early March."
Fortunately, the business received some assistance recently from Survive & Thrive.
Beno said, "In the short-term it was able to help us pay some of our rent and utility bills, and help with payroll as well."
They're not the only ones. Natasha Main, executive director of Exponential Impact, shared that so far 121 businesses and nonprofits have received funding.
Main said, "We knew that our community needed support immediately and so that's kind of how it came about."
The community - it still needs support. Applications for the program closed on April 30 and it will reopen if additional funding comes through. Main says there's just under 800 remaining applications.
"We're continuing to fundraise for this program."
In the meantime, there's other resources to take advantage of.
Main said, "What's open to kind of anyone who wants to attend, regardless of their application status, are weekly webinars."
It's a free opportunity to ask important questions such as "How do you take care of yourself and your employees during these times? How to have difficult conversations to how do you do the accounting for the PPP loans?" said Main.
In regards to the webinars Beno said, "The resources and the people that you can connect with - there's so much knowledge."
As far as funding for Survive & Thrive, he hopes that more becomes available because "there's a lot of businesses out there that are hurting right now and the more resources we have especially here in El Paso County to support small business and help small business is a great thing."
CLICK HERE for more information on Survive & Thrive.