The effects of COVID-19 haven’t been easy for businesses and nonprofits, but CB&T is committed to helping them recover. Here’s how businesses are using their Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan to support their payroll and the organization's future.
As a destination property in San Diego, Bernardo Winery is a small business that has been family-owned and operated since 1927. In addition to wine cultivation, the business is a popular event space that houses boutique shops, a coffee roaster and a restaurant. However, with COVID-19 closures, it resulted in people out of work and the property losing nearly 70% of its events scheduled for the year. Bernardo Winery’s General Manager and CFO, Selena Roberts, described it as a “snowball of destruction” to its tiered business that’s reliant on visitors.
“When we had to close the doors on March 15th, we had to lay off 52 employees who are essentially family to us," Roberts said. "Because of the PPP loan from California Bank & Trust, we were able to bring back key players such as back-end administration. All our employees are ready to return and when we’re able to open, we will be bringing back more employees in phases.”
"Our bankers had a vested interest in our success," Roberts said. "Being a destination property, wewere very affected by the COVID-19 closures and CB&T knew how important it was for us to get assistance. Our banker’s personal assistance made communication even better and helped alleviate a great deal of stress. The PPP funding will help support a lot of people getting back to work and keeping this beautiful property breathing."
City Heights is a large urban community in central San Diego, known for its ethnic diversity and home to many refugees and immigrants. The nonprofit, City Heights Community Development Center, started 40 years ago to enhance the quality of life in the area. With recent events, Executive Director Laura Ann Fernea and the team at CHCDC rose to the demands of providing food assistance, helping isolated seniors, and preventing eviction through rent payments. From October 2019 to March 2020, CHCDC has helped prevent more than 25 evictions. However, since March 20, the need for housing assistance has ballooned.
"We have helped pay rent to 137 low-income households," said Fernea. "We have an estimated 75-100 people whose checks are being processed or are on the waiting list. We get more and more requests for help every day."
CHCDC receives an annual emergency food pantry inventory in January, which typically lasts a full year. However, with the current environment, supply has been completely depleted.
“We’ve distributed 11,060 pounds of food in March and April, not including the emergency food pantry,” said Fernea. “This is the food we distribute to any family living in our 405 affordable housing apartments. During that same period, we also delivered 384 meals to 64 seniors and distributed food to 781 households totaling 1,918 people.”
A CB&T client since 2018, CHCDC received PPP funding to help keep 20 jobs. "In the low-income community, people don’t have fall-back savings or family safety nets," Fernea said. "That’s where we're called in to help, and it's so valuable to have collaborative partners like CB&T, who help the community. Our banker, Jeff Barger, is a stellar board member, who was really the true champion of our PPP application. He worked closely with our accountant, was in constant communication, and let us know what to do and when."
Heritage Health Care in Loma Linda operates six facilities consisting of skilled nursing homes, assisted living, and rehabilitation facilities for physical and occupational therapy. When the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders went into effect on March 19, it hit the facilities hard with the cancellation of all elective surgeries’ orders. The team at Heritage Health acted quickly to take care of their patients, clients and employees. The other facilities were considered “essential services” requiring round the clock care seven days a week. As a result of their PPP loan from CB&T, they were able to increase pay by $3 for all employees and purchase additional protective gear.
“We turned to CB&T and our banker, Debbie Reese, who assisted us with the application process,” said Jim Kilian, Heritage Health CFO. “We were extremely stressed and scared for what lay ahead but ended up feeling truly touched by the care and compassion we received from working with them. It was especially heartfelt when we got a call from Debbie on a Friday at 11 p.m. and then continuously throughout the weekend to keep us updated.”
Chinese Cultural Center of San Francisco
San Francisco’s Chinatown is the second most visited destination in the city after the Golden Gate Bridge. However, small businesses are struggling to keep their doors open since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The nonprofit, Chinese Culture Center (CCC), founded in 1965, is dedicated to elevating underserved communities and giving voice to equality through education and contemporary art.
With a significant decrease in traveling visitors, organizations like the CCC have been able to use resources like the PPP loan to help continue educating the community and spreading positivity.
“The CCC’s primary focus right now is how we can use art to be a form of recovery for our community here in Chinatown,” Executive Director, Jenny Leung said.
The CCC joined CB&T as a client last year and the PPP funding has allowed the organization keep seven employees on payroll. The funding has also helped the nonprofit support the transition of many of their programs to an online-based environment, allowed their staff to contribute to the recovery process and continue its important work of education within the community.
Since 1956, Blue Buoy Swim School in Orange County has taught generations of students the art of swimming and even had former students represent the United States in the Olympics. When COVID-19 hit, owners, Cindy and Johnny Johnson were forced to cease operations and furlough 30 employees. The PPP was a real lifeline for the swimming company. While it is not believed that COVID-19 can be transmitted by water, Blue Buoy will be preparing for a “new way” of operating. This includes masks, sanitizers and distancing regulations and limiting the facility to only 10 people inside at a time, including the trainers.
“Our banker was fantastic and was available every step of the way,” Johnson said. “He helped answer questions and assist with collecting the documents needed to have a complete application on its way to the SBA funding portal.”
Beam On Technology
Beam On Technology Corporation was founded in 1992 in San Jose by manufacturing engineers. With an expertise in the assembly process for surface-mount technology, these engineers help manufacture circuits and circuit boards. Beam On’s mission is to provide customers with cost-effective products, without compromising a commitment to quality. With a majority of Beam On’s clients being moderate-to-large businesses, it sent shockwaves through the industry with COVID-19-related closures and caused a decline in Beam On’s own business. Luckily, the PPP was able to help keep all employees on payroll and the company on track.
“All of our finances are with CB&T and we have a strong relationship with our banker,” said Beam On owner, Rajoo Venkat. “It was further reaffirmed when they were able to help us get a PPP loan, which is helping keep our employees on payroll. One of my long-time employee’s wife even sent me a note thanking us that we could help her husband keep his job!”
The Exploratorium, established in 1969, is an internationally renowned museum of art, science, and human perception located in San Francisco, California. Its hundreds of hands-on exhibits are designed to promote science discovery. Before the state-mandated shelter-in-place orders, the museum had already started taking precautions, increasing the number of handwashing stations throughout the museum. The museum has essential living things that must be maintained daily, including the zebrafish, the Henrietta Lacks Hela cell, and other stem cells for their research. COVID-19 closures forced employee furloughs that jeopardized the management of this research and the live animals. Fortunately, their employees were furloughed for just under a week before the PPP funded.
"My experience with the SBA PPP application process started stressfully with several delays of the SBA portal opening,” Exploratorium CFO, Laura Zander said. “My banker, Sanjay, kept in touch with me throughout the weekend; letting me know of all the delays and expectations of the portal opening. He was there for me throughout the application process to the loan funding.”
Court Appointed Special Advocates of Sacramento County
The trickle-down effect from the coronavirus has even impacted foster homes. Court Appointed Special Advocates of Sacramento (CASA) County, once a destination for foster youth separated from their families, is now having to adapt to the “new normal.” These youths were already experiencing a form of insolation, but with the emergence of the coronavirus, all visitation appointments have hampering the opportunity for check-ins and information sharing. For these foster kids, CASA is the lifeline connected to some sort of normalcy. Weekly check-ins are now conducted over Facebook or phone, or if necessary, in-person sessions are available with social distancing guidelines in place.
“The PPP was hugely helpful. Like most non-profits, we count on fundraising to support us and we had two major fundraisers that were canceled,” said Director of CASA Sacramento, Carol L. Noreen, JD. “This was a lot of money we were planning to raise, and I was worried about how we were going to fill in the budget. We won’t have to stop serving anyone and we can still take on new cases. This was a lifeline!”
Granite Bay works mainly with families and children, with a mission to empower parents with the knowledge to support them with the developmental issues of their children. In addition to speech therapy services, they provide other techniques and tools to help children, such as videos and handouts, free of charge.
The company strives to assist families who can’t afford to pay for services. However, after the shelter-in-place orders, the company’s resources were nearly depleted, and the company was close to laying off all nine employees. Without the loan, they would have had to close permanently and that would have hurt the community.
“Many people depend on our services, resources and programs,” Granite Bay Director Nancy Barcal said. “Without the loan, I would have had to lay off almost all my staff, most of whom could not afford to pay their bills without the income. I felt that CB&T treated me like family and went above and beyond to help us in this difficult time.”
Art of Life Cancer Foundation
Fresno-based organization, Art of Life Cancer Foundation has a mission: Giving hope to all those impacted by cancer. The organization’s therapy methods are designed to help cancer patients and survivors get through different stages of their journey. The foundation provides activities such as painting, cooking, writing journaling, and making flower arrangements.
Even as the cloud of COVID-19 looms overhead, The Art of Life Cancer staff continues to keep personal connections with patients through phone calls and emails, accompanied by uplifting messages such as “looking forward to seeing you again soon.” These types of communications are meant to remind their patients that things will get better, and they look forward to seeing them again.
“The PPP loan allowed us to keep the staff of three and continue to reach out to cancer patients and survivors,” said Joan Minasian, Board Member of The Art of Life.
Perinatal Associates of Central California Medical Group
Perinatal Associates of Central California Medical Group (PACCMG) is a private practice dedicated to providing essential care to women with complicated pregnancies in the Fresno community. They offer both inpatient and outpatient services with a high specialization in high-risk obstetrical care. When COVID-19 closures affected businesses, the organization was left with a lot of open-ended questions. This included whether they could continue operating, social distancing protocols, and staff and patient facility capacity, according to PACCMG owner, Dr. Douglas A. Helm. The PPP helped keep the PACCMG doors open for all 16 employees .
“The PPP played such a vital role in helping keep our practice running, and the team at CB&T were really instrumental in helping us continue our important work of assisting women with high-risk pregnancies,” said Dr. Helm. [cite::171::cite][cite::172::cite]