April 16, 2020
Like millions of other small business owners affected by the coronavirus pandemic, I dutifully filled out the forms provided by the banks and government to apply for the PPP forgivable loan. And like most others, have been waiting for the arrival of the financial help that was promised.
It turns out that, for me, the old adage proves true: “There’s no such thing as free money.” I’ve learned that we are not eligible for the small business stimulus program because my wife and I (as co-owners and the only employees of our business) do not draw a salary from our studio. Most of our profits are reinvested into our company. Over the year, we do take out a modest sum via a shareholder distribution but we’ve learned this is not eligible for the PPP.
We have submitted for the EIDL which is another government sponsored program but even less information is available on the status of that application and I’m not holding my breath for it. But I’m not concerned and I’m sure you might ask me why.
It is because, unlike Blanche DuBois from The Streetcar Named Desire, I’ve never depended on the kindness of strangers. In fact, I find they disappoint more often than not. Instead, I trust in God and find support from the friends and community to which I’m connected. And they’ve been stepping up big time.
Throughout the week, I have heard from customers for whom I’ve done work in the past who have let me know of films, videos and slides they have discovered during their time “staying-at-home” and they have gone out of their way to drop them by the studio, providing us with enough revenue to cover our expenses; and enough work to keep us occupied during this unusual time. I remind myself that they didn’t “need” to find work for us. They didn’t need to spend money with us at this time converting old memories to a digital form. I’d like to think that they wanted to. They wanted to support our small enterprise and we are very thankful.
At the end of the day, our government is not what is going to help small businesses survive this economic pandemic. It’s going to come from the communities which they serve. We’ll get by with a little help from our friends.
Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio Mount Dora specialize in the preservation of family memories through the digitalization of film, videotapes, audio recordings, photos, negatives, and slides. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit our website.