It’s March 31, 2020, and the breaking news is - South Carolina has joined the list of states that have closed all unessential businesses. How will business owners make payroll, and pay their rent and utilities? How will our business community survive?
Our Large Business of the Year didn’t just scratch their heads wondering what to do, they acted immediately. They worked with the City of Aiken, the Chamber, and the Aiken Corporation to establish a “war room” with the intention of making sure the Aiken business community could survive. They were absolutely determined Aiken’s business community would have the resources it needed.
In only four days they established a $1 Million Dollar revolving loan fund. This fund provided a much needed lifeline for 47 Aiken business owners.
As one recipient said, “I was amazed and thankful at how quickly and efficiently key players banded together to make this assistance possible. Speaking to small business friends located in other cities made it clear that the type of assistance we received in Aiken was not being duplicated most other places.”
The work with the loan fund was just the beginning. The Large Business of the Year went back to their war room and said what’s next.
Being a local business with local ownership and local control, they knew they had a key ingredient to successfully navigating the Paycheck Protection Loans through the CARES Act – they had employees with relationships to their customers and connections in the community. These relationships and their commitment to the community made the professional team determined to learn the ins and outs of the complicated federal program and assist not only current customers, but anyone in the community with the process.
At the end of 2020, they had assisted over 1,450 customers and provided over $75 million in funding through the program. Our Small Business of the Year was the leader in loans under $150,000 to small businesses in the Aiken-Augusta market.
Our Large Business of the Year has had a 99-year love affair with Aiken, and Aiken loves them back. Thank you, and Congratulations to Security Federal Bank.