Commentary: Williamson Inc. seeks to help businesses through tough time

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Matt Largen

Matt Largen is the president and CEO of Williamson, Inc.

Small business is the backbone of Williamson County’s economy. Small business makes up the majority of our workforce, creates prosperity for our friends, families and neighbors and is an integral part of our unique community character.  

Williamson Inc. is here for our small businesses and nonprofits during this incredibly challenging time. If you are a small-business owner, work at a small business or direct a nonprofit organization, the single best thing you can do right now is apply or encourage the owner to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program that was recently enacted by Congress.  

An initiative of the Small Business Administration, the program was launched with the clear purpose of ensuring that businesses can retain their employees. Businesses and charitable nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees — plus sole proprietorships and independent contractors — are eligible for loans capped at either 2½ times the average monthly payroll cost from 2019 or $10 million. 

There is a loan forgiveness component for borrowers who retain employees during a select eight-week period. The loans, which can be utilized for payroll costs, a lease/mortgage or utility payments, are administered by select financial institutions that serve as SBA lenders. 

I encourage you to reach out to your banker now and talk through this program at length. Our director of government affairs, Kel McDowell, has transitioned into our SBA caseworker and is here to help navigate you through SBA and other government programs, whether you are a member of Williamson Inc. or not. McDowell can be reached at 615-771-1071 or kel@williamsonchamber.com.

In addition to providing this service for your company, Williamson Inc. has scheduled several free virtual events throughout April for members and nonmembers.  The list of events can be found online at www.williamsonchamber.com/events.  We also have archived our virtual programming, which you can access for free at www.williamsonchamber.com/event-archives and watch at your convenience.  

It is important to remember that our businesses and organizations are open but have changed the way they do business. This is the time for us to come together and support each other. Our small businesses and organizations that serve people in need are part of the fabric that makes up the rich tapestry of Williamson County. 

Our team at Williamson Inc. is committed to making sure we meet the immediate needs of each and every one of our businesses and organizations and help the backbone of our community make it through this unprecedented time.

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