Before the coronavirus came to America, Kiddieville Christian Early Learning Center was serving 259 students, with a staff of 38. When the state closed schools on Tuesday, March 17th, Kiddieville was deemed an essential business, but its enrollment plummeted to 80-90 children of essential workers.
Kiddieville’s owner Diane Payton says that First Service Bank made the process of applying for the a Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan simple and straightforward. She had already been doing business with First Service Bank since the daycare opened 40 years ago. When loan officer Robin Hackett called on Friday to tell her that she qualified for a PPP loan, they worked together through the weekend to collect all the necessary documentation, even though the SBA requirements changed twice after they started the application. Payton says that Robin made it easy to complete the application. The funds were available on Monday morning.
Payton says that she does not see the funds as free money, but rather as a business expense to keep things running through the crisis.
With payroll covered, Kiddieville has been working with the CDC and the Arkansas Health Department, to protect the business with a strict regimen of testing visitors and limiting access, in order to prevent an infection that would require quarantines and a long shut-down for disinfecting the facility. Staff and students are tested daily, to ensure that no one is running a fever, and still have their sense of smell, which are early symptoms of infection. Parents and food distributors are no longer allowed into the building, but all arrivals and deliveries take place on the front porch.
Payton says that the community has been extremely understanding and helpful, as people recognize that their personal health safety protocols can affect the whole community’s health. Part of that protocol now also includes regular check-ins from Robin Hackett, to make sure that the Learning Center has access to the funds it might need, and stays up to date as programs and conditions change.
If you have questions about First Sevice Bank or thePayroll Protection Program (PPP) loan, call us at 501-679-8000.