Sigler Music and Elite Core in Conway, AR have been experiencing phenomenal growth for the past six years, when co-owners Trey McClurkin and Chris Ward took over the business. With a combination of superior manufacturing and customer service, they had seen 25-30% year-over-year growth, and their sound system products have been used by world class acts like Paul McCartney.
Trey and Chris said that they had done business with First Service Bank since they started, and wen they turned to First Service Bank when the coronavirus started to impact their business, they said that First Service Bank really “hit it out of the park” in terms of taking care of them.
When the CARES act passed on March 27th, McClurkin said that First Service Bank CFO Kenneth Barnard called to tell them that Sigler Music and Elite Core were eligible for an emergency loan under the Payroll Protection Program (PPP). Kenneth and loan officer Kevin Wish worked through the weekend, to collect information to submit and underwrite the loan.
By the time the funds came through on Monday morning, Trey and Chris were facing challenges and the loan was going to help tide them over. They had already watched the virus disrupt their supply chain from China. Now the virus had shut down the church services, events, concerts and tours where their products might have been used. They were forced to lay off about 40 of their 50 workers, but they have been able to hire some back since they started to manufacture thousands of protective face masks for healthcare providers from Maryland to California, and for local organizations including Easter Seals of Arkansas and Care Link elder care.
While the PPP allowed them to keep the lights on in the near term, Trey and Chris are concerned that it might be a long time before the public feels safe going out in large crowds for events again, and even once they do, it will still take time to plan, promote and sell tickets for events.
But the PPP loan gets them through the next two months, and they are exploring the possibility of manufacturing other forms of protective equipment, like clear plastic barriers to protect retail cashiers. In the meantime, like many Americans, they are waiting to see how conditions developed, and how the medical and political communities respond with additional guidelines and relief measures.
In the meantime, Trey and Chris said that Kenneth and Kevin from First Service Bank have continued to call to check in and consult on a regular basis, to make sure that they were well positioned when it comes time to make the next steps.
If you have questions about First Sevice Bank or thePayroll Protection Program (PPP) loan, call us at 501-679-8000.