The JP UP date: JP Deploys $1.9 M in PPP

Katie ArnoldThe JP UP date

Number 63                            April 17, 2020                                   St. Louis

Justine PETERSEN Deploys $1.9M in PPP Loans, Assisting 43 Small Businesses
Just add water and stir.  JP’s dynamic duo of Chief Operating Officer Sheri Flanigan-Vazquez and Chief Lending Officer Aida Richardson designed, assembled and implemented an entire intake and processing team for the Paycheck Protection Program overnight.  Literally.  The nimble team deftly fielded over 350 inquiries and ultimately realized 43 loan approvals totaling $1.9M.

Among those assisted include the Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) of Greater St. Louis, which provides nursing services to over 150 critically ill patients throughout metropolitan St. Louis.  The non-profit organization’s $250k loan application was funded within a week, allowing all employees to be retained and services to continue uninterrupted.  Cortaiga Collins, owner of Good Shepherd Infant & Toddler Center, received her approval the same day that she submitted all required documents.

Justine PETERSEN recognizes Stifel Bank, Montgomery Bank and Midwest BankCentre for capital support related to PPP, and the efforts of JP Board Members Allan Ivie and Don Doherty in bringing to fruition the requisite financing.

In its entirety, PPP nationally deployed $349 billion, funding 1.6 million applications.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Offering $5,000 Grants to Small Businesses
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, through its “Save Small Business Fund,” is offering the opportunity for small businesses to receive a $5,000 grant to offset economic hardship experienced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

To qualify businesses must:
1.    Employ between 3 – 20 people
2.    Be located in an economically-vulnerable community
3.    Harmed financially by the Covid-19 pandemic

Business owners can apply starting April 20th at 3:00 pm EST.  To see if a business qualifies, click here.

The Pandemic Diaries:  Week Two

The Pandemic Diaries is a weekly reflection penned by individual Justine PETERSEN staff members in the style of journaling, chronicling the daily reality of working from home in the wake of Covid-19.  This week’s diary entry is written by Tamra Thetford, Chief Program Officer at Justine PETERSEN.

“One of the things that has always impressed me about Justine PETERSEN is its ability to get things done. JP stood out when I worked at the Aspen Institute with America’s largest microlenders and they stand out now that I work at JP and witness first-hand how focused and effective we can be at making things happen.

In the past month JP has hustled to get our entire staff up and running from their homes.  We sorted out computers, built digital systems where we once had the luxury of handing things off in-person. We even installed our regular office phones in our receptionists’ houses so they can answer calls from our clients and transfer them just as if we are all in the office!

I like working puzzles. Working through all the challenges has been a lot like an ongoing giant jig saw puzzle. Some of the pieces have been easier than expected (goodbye paper files in the loan approval box!) and some pieces extracted precious tears (phones I’m looking at you.)  But we’ve just kept moving, tenaciously putting the pieces in place.

Nowhere was this doggedness and hard work more apparent than in the way a core group of staff worked to immediately accept Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) loan applications, get them submitted to the SBA, and get 43 small businesses approved before the stimulus funds were depleted.

About a month in to quarantine I can sense a small shift towards “normal” operations.  I completed quarterly reviews with my team via zoom, we had our monthly all-staff meeting, we’ve celebrated birthdays and work anniversaries online.

And: my giant “COVID-19 puzzle project” isn’t finished, but more of the picture is coming in to view, and soon my family will resume sharing meals at the dining room table.”