On February 3, Hope Mott opened the Bean Barn Coffee Shop in Flippin Arkansas as a sideline to her primary business at the Total Reflection hair salon. Little did she know what kind of challenges she would confront as a business owner running a brand new business.
The coronavirus hit the area around her shop hard, and within six weeks of opening her coffee business—which had started out booming—her hair salon was closed, and she lost about 30-40% of her coffee business as the school traffic dried up, as well as the traffic from the local factory.
Mott was put in touch with First Service Bank through a friend, Amy Still, a loan officer at the bank, who walked her through the application process for the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan. Even though her payroll data was barely a month old, she says that it was easy to submit everything the bank needed. She signed the documents online, and received the funds the same day.
She says that the PPP funds have been a “godsend,” since they have allowed her to keep her three or four employees on payroll, on their regular schedules, and to bring back the one employee whose hours had been cut, whose other job location had been closed down. It has also allowed her to spend time hunting for fresh milk, which has been hard to buy in large quantities, now that shops have been limiting purchases.
Mott says that she has also responded to the crisis by using her punch card incentive program (15 punches gets you a free drink) to recruit food donations for the local blessing boxes at the churches, where communities have been coming together to distribute food to families affected by the layoffs and shutdowns.
As a small business owner, Hope Mott says that she is not too nervous about losing staff on account of the expanded unemployment benefits, since her employees can do well with tips, and they take pride in playing the vital role of keeping the coffee drinks flowing, so their customers and their communities can stay sharp in the face of the day-to-day roller coaster of news and disruptions related to the virus.
If you have questions about First Sevice Bank or thePayroll Protection Program (PPP) loan, call us at 501-679-8000.