KERSHNER: Small, Minority Business Apply Now for Aid

As the voice of business in the Dayton region and the unapologetic advocate for the employers who drive our region’s economy, the Dayton Area Chamber has a responsibility to ensure every eligible business has the opportunity to apply for federal COVID-19 assistance for their employees. This once in a lifetime Payroll Protection Program (PPP) aid package will close for businesses on March 31, 2021.

Business owners and employers yearn to create revenue and commerce through the capitalism and free enterprise. This is the model the American economy has always used to drive sales, consumers, and business development opportunities. As such, I’ve never met a business owner who was excited to get government assistance, or a business owner who wants to take advantage of programs meant to help those who are struggling. However, PPP is funded by the federal taxes your grandparents, your parents, you and your children have paid for over multiple generations.

One of the most significant investments an employer will make is the investments made in the people who keep the company moving forward. PPP helps Dayton area businesses preserve their investments in talent and workforce, ultimately positioning these businesses to emerge strong in a post COVID-19 world.

Don’t forget, assistance available through PPP is not only intended to help offset losses and impacts of the past year, it also helps preserve your future workforce and prevent business losses in the future. Your company and employees may have not been economically impacted by COVID-19 yet, but we don’t know what the future will hold and we could have a delayed economic downturn that impacts multiple business sectors long after the initial COVID-19 threat has been eliminated.

Over the last year, local financial institutions have distributed over $2.8 billion in PPP assistance to Dayton area companies. These financial institutions are bending over backwards to quickly connect businesses with the funding they need to push forward, including navigating PPP. We know minority- and women-owned businesses have been historically underserved, and the chamber and our financial service partners are also working hard to fill gaps and ensure these businesses are getting the assistance they need. This is the time to apply and protect your business and employees now and in the future.

In the history of my tenure at the Dayton Area Chamber, the task undertaken by our financial institutions is one of the most impressive examples I’ve seen of competing organizations working together, referring one another and collaborating to serve our business community. Our banks and credit unions have escorted countless businesses through the federal PPP process. We truly could not have done it without you. Thank you.

The economy is reopening and it’s reopening fast. Employers that have a strong team who weathered the COVID-19 storm and protected their financial interest have already hit the ground running.

Chris Kershner, CAE
President & CEO
Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce

Download a PDF of this article as it appeared in the Dayton Daily News.