The coronavirus pandemic has left a major impact on how we take care of ourselves, connect with one another, and do business. We at COCARD recognize that our clients’ needs changed when this crisis began and moved swiftly to meet those needs. We partnered with Lendio to facilitate government funds for small businesses, worked with companies to provide our clients with protective equipment and hygienic devices, and helped our clients continue meeting their customers’ needs by taking their business online.
Keeping Small Business Strong
Small businesses have likely been the hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Quarantine measures slowed foot traffic to a trickle, social distancing shuttered bars, and even professional services like accounting and dentistry saw heavily-reduced activity. The government responded, making billions of dollars available in small business and paycheck protection loans.
While the government was fast to pass spending measures to reduce the strain on small businesses, accessing these funds was another matter. A confusing application process, long approval times, and eligibility headaches often made it difficult for this money to reach the businesses that needed it. COCARD recognized that, in order to better serve our clients, we had to help connect them with these government funds.
To achieve this, we partnered with Lendio, a company dedicated to democratizing small business loans. Together with Lendio, we helped our members apply for federal PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) and SBA (Small Business Administration) loans. However, we didn’t stop there. In order to better serve our members and their own network, we extended this assistance to our members’ clients as well.
For our clients, the investment in this partnership has paid rich dividends. With Lendio working to expedite the process, our clients achieved record loan approval rates. They also saw funds available before many banks would even allow paperwork to be submitted. Ultimately, bridging the gap between government funds and businesses on the ground saved many businesses from having to close shop.
PPE for Peace of Mind
While businesses felt the economic pain of reduced activity during the pandemic, the underlying concern was the safety of their clients and adherence to rapidly changing public health protocols. Businesses needed to assure their patrons and employees that they were taking every possible measure to protect them.
To this end, COCARD partnered with companies offering PPE (personal protective equipment) and other devices to ensure that businesses could stay open while maintaining proper hygiene. For example, one of our new partner companies provides Plexi POS station stands and touchless POS units.
Catching the Digital Wave
As we all know, companies that work primarily online have done quite well during the pandemic, such as Amazon and Netflix. This is because their business model was resilient to the intense social distancing measures in place across the country, and even benefited from people getting more of their entertainment and items online.
We wanted to bring this advantage to our members, to enable them to not only survive the pandemic but to thrive and expand their online presence. We helped our clients to provide online ordering options for both restaurants and retail. As the nation went digital, our members didn’t miss the boat.
COCARD: There in any Weather
People and businesses show their true colors in times of crisis, either rising to the occasion or making a break for it. We at COCARD showed our members whatever challenges arise, we’re there for them, seeking real solutions to enable success in any climate, and emerge from tough times stronger than ever. Through thick and thin, we’re happy for your membership and will do what it takes to see you succeed.