WEST DENNIS – As the Covid-19 pandemic began closing businesses, “our role became very clear,” said Marc Goldberg, assistant district director for the non-profit business mentorship program SCORE. “As mentors, we’re educators,” he said.
“The number one piece of advice we have for businesses and nonprofits is to learn as much as possible as to what is available to them as far as aid from the state of Massachusetts and from the Small Business Administration to bridge them through this period,” said Goldberg, of West Dennis.
Goldberg’s district includes Rhode Island, Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard & Nantucket. He is also past chair of the Cape Cod & Island SCORE chapter.
While some information changes almost daily, such as the availability of various payment deferment programs, there are and have been in place programs that had been previously set up to help small businesses in need, he said.
“One thing I’m trying to do is help educate small businesses as to, number one, what support is available to them,” he said. “And number two, what kind of actions they can take to help their businesses survive, because it is a matter of survival for most small businesses.”
“Right now, we are trying to reach as many small business owners as we can with facts as to what’s available to them,” said Goldberg. “These are programs that are available to them right now.”
“We have a steady stream of information flowing to us from the Small Business Administration,” he said. Score is a resource partner with the SBA, according to its website.
“One of the support programs that is available,” he said, “is a program called EIDL, or Economic Injury Disaster Loans.” Here is a link – Economic Injury Disaster Loans
Another is the Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program.
SCORE is helping business owners get up to speed on this program with a webinar on April 1 at 9 a.m., “in which a senior lender relations specialist of the SBA will explain the program and how affected businesses can pursue assistance in this program,” according to a SCORE statement.
Registered is required at this link – SCORE webinar
The SCORE chapter of Cape Cod & The Islands has 60 volunteer mentors, who are working with, in total, “several hundred businesses at a time,” said Goldberg.
“Our mentoring is free and confidential to anybody who is interested in starting a business, who is in business and needs help. We help in the way of growing a business, in getting out of trouble, even exiting a business,” he said.
For this evolving situation, Goldberg said, SCORE has been working with all of its mentors, most recently through a Zoom meeting, so they are up to date on available programs to relay to those they work with. “We are educating ourselves so we can help our clients, he said.
Goldberg said he has not received a lot of calls yet, but those he has heard from have asked how to deal with layoffs and how to defer payments to various vendors, including insurance.
“This is all evolving,” he said. “You’ll need to be connected to those people you do business with. You need to be connected to your banks, your insurance company, your suppliers. You need to stay in connection with your supply chain, and with those people who support them,” he said.’’
“Each one of those is doing different things,” he said, and a business owner must be aware of all options and requirements.
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