How One Company Landed PPP Funds
We have talked to many, many companies over the past two weeks and have not heard of anyone receiving funding under the Paycheck Protection Program yet. Until today.
We are happy to report that industry public relations company Master Plan Communications (MPC) actually received their money Friday.
We asked Owner Ashton Maxfield if he could share his story and any tips he has for navigating the process.
The company, which has five employees and five contractors, has clients both inside and outside the industry.
Because of the crisis, MPC had several clients put campaigns on hold indefinitely or chose to terminate contracts early. MPC’s April, May and June projections are down a little over 40%.
“This PPP loan will be key,” Ashton said.
MPC’s current clients include companies such as Igloo, etnies, ThirtyTwo, Autumn, Gordini, Rastaclat, Sheckler Foundation, and Dressbarn.
MPC is based in Irvine, but Ashton also spends a lot of time in Kansas, where his principal residence is.
Here is how Ashton navigated the PPP process in his own words.
Study Up and Be Persistent
“As soon as I heard about the stimulus in March, I read everything I could find on it. I also sat in on webinars that explained how small businesses could participate.”
“I spoke to the relationship banker MPC works with at Chase bank in San Clemente every day. If he hadn’t called me by noon, I checked in. On Thursday, April 2, I had all the documentation ready and completed a sample SBA Paycheck Protection Program Borrower Application. The final application wasn’t released until Friday morning.”
“Chase bank is the largest SBA partner bank, and they opened up their site for applications on Friday morning around 10 a.m. PT. The site just had you put in your company info, and provided a confirmation saying Chase would call you back.”
“I waited patiently all-day Friday for a call back. I am patient when I am waiting for a powder day to snowboard, and I’m patient when I’m fishing, but it was hard to wait when I thought other businesses might be getting funded and I wasn’t yet. I needed to keep MPC’s employees!”
Coming Up with a Plan B
“On Saturday morning, the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal had an article that said the SBA approved more than 9,000 PPP loans for small businesses on Friday, April 3.”
“At this point, I was tripping out a little, thinking ‘How is MPC missing out on this deal?’ ”
“I texted the Vice President of a smaller regional bank, First National Bank of Syracuse, that I have worked with in the past in Kansas. His name is Brandon Mumgaard and he got back to me and said he had been processing PPP loans at the branch until 10:30 p.m. on Friday night.”
“He was there at the bank on Saturday, and he requested I email him my loan app. I sent it in on Saturday about 4 p.m. PT, and Master Plan Communications loan was approved at 10:25 a.m. on Sunday, April 5.”
Small Bank Comes Through
“This morning, Brandon, the bank VP, emailed me the SBA loan docs and I immediately printed them, signed them and rushed to the bank. The branch was locked up and there was a super long line of cars waiting for the one teller window.”
“Brandon saw my Subaru in the back of the line and he walked up to my car, grabbed the loan docs, took them in the bank and funded the loan. The funds showed up in the MPC account right away.”
“I still can’t believe the money is in my account! We are a small business, and this is the largest loan we’ve ever received. We aren’t working in our Irvine office during the COVID-19 pandemic, the MPC staff is all working from home, so I couldn’t high five anyone in the office. I immediately took a screen shot of the MPC checking account and texted it to our Controller Karman Barton to celebrate. We are so hyped!!! Yew!!!”
“In this case, working with a small bank made all the difference.”