The U.S. Small Business Administration Utah District Office announced the latest Program Protection Program numbers in Utah. By the end of May, 47,935 PPP loans had been approved totaling $5,190,977,385 coming into the hands of Utah small businesses.
“This volume of loan approvals equates to approximately 30 years of annual loan approvals Utah made in less than three months according to data from SBA's Frequently Requested FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) Site,” said Utah District Director Marla Trollan.
“If we conservatively estimate that each business has 5 employees, that figure translates to 239,675 jobs potentially saved,” Trollan said. “That’s more than the population of Salt Lake City.”
Currently, the average PPP loan size is $108,000, which is below the average loan size of the Utah District Office’s 7(a) loan program in fiscal year 2019 of $424,628. “This is significant because it means more and smaller businesses are receiving assistance now,” Trollan said.
One of the small businesses that received PPP funds is:
Harmony Home Health and Hospice
Dennis Stong, Kari Domm, … David Stong – Partners/Owners
5650 Green Street
Murray, Utah 84020
Home Health Care and Hospice Services Business Strives to Create Harmony Despite Pandemic
Harmony Home Health and Hospice is committed to providing the highest quality care for their clients in the environment that is most safe and comfortable for them during this challenging time, in their own homes. “Inviting a health care provider into your home requires a high level of trust. We work hard to earn the confidence of our clients and their families by hiring only the best home health care professionals,” said Dennis Stong, who owns the business along with his sister, CEO Kari Domm and his brother David who is CFO.
They provide a wide range of expert and highly trained care providers to meet a variety of care needs to include: doctors, registered nurses, physical, occupational, and speech therapists; home health aides and specialized care for those in need of hospice services.
One of their service lines is taking care of pediatric patients, some being medically fragile children who often require 24-hour care. “When school was closed many of our nurses lost hours. Also, parents of these kids were now working from home and the need for our help was reduced,” said Kari Domm who oversees operations for the business.
To keep as many of their highly trained and experienced staff as possible Stong applied for the Small Business Administration Payroll Protection Program or PPP. Stong worked with his lender to apply and was able to receive funds to help keep his staff employed. “Caryl Eriksson at Utah Certified Development Company did everything she could to get a past error corrected in the SBA system and our banker Ryan Marrelli at Cache Valley Bank was extremely professional and helpful as well. We are very grateful to all these good people,” he said.
They moved quickly to transition 75% of their administrative staff to teleworking from home. “Fortunately, we already had been working towards our processes to be online, reducing paperwork needs. With a few minor adjustments we were able to get the processes up and running fairly quickly. This limited the disruption in patient care and allowed our field staff to continue working as usual. This also helped with the ability for us to continue billing for our services,” Domm said.
Even though bring in new business has been challenging and home referrals have decreased by 50% from previous months they have developed new programs to assist skilled facilities and doctors with the changing environment. Harmony plans to keep these programs going forward.
They have also started keeping their employees connected to each other and the management team via regular video meetings. “This enabled us to still meet and help communicate the changes quickly. This was also helpful for employees who were working from home to feel less isolated. We plan to continue these meetings,” Domm said.
Their community has also been supportive. When they were short on facemasks, members of the community reached out and made masks for their staff to wear. “One of our pediatric patient’s mom made masks that would fit our pediatric patients,” Domm said. They also received hand sanitizer from local distilleries for free or at a discounted price. “It’s been great to see how communities have come together to help during a time like this.”
Domm advises other entrepreneurs to get creative with your time and resources, “Be flexible with your processes. Look for new opportunities during the changing environment.”