Local business owners share stories of resiliency during webinar
By Luke Putvin | Lynnwood Times Staff
On April 9, Silver Creek Family Church held its first in a series of webinars called “Resilience.” Local business representatives and community leaders came together to share what they are doing at a time when many businesses are struggling.
Brent Hudson, pastor at Silver Creek Family Church, was joined by Matt Martin and Kandace Barnes, President and Executive Director of the Mukilteo Chamber of Commerce; Chloe Butler, store manager of the Lynnwood Crossroads Starbucks; Nick Hooge, manager of the Freedom Boat Club; Steve Hammer, owner of BPH Architects and Elizabeth Volz, Executive Director of Silver Creek Family Church.
Barnes and Martin focused their information on aid for small businesses and non-profits. Their primary information regarded the Cares Act, which has two primary loans available: the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The EIDL provides operations relief, and the PPP offers paycheck relief.
The EIDL is available to small businesses, non-profits, gig workers and others. Though the loan process itself can take some time, there is an emergency grant advance in process which can potentially get up to ten thousand dollars to business owners in three days.
For the PPP, funds are provided through local lenders and are forgiven when used for payroll costs. The caveat is that the business owner must keep the employee on the payroll and maintain their salary level.
Butler focused on how Starbucks, especially her store, is operating at this time. She said that at her location about half of the employees are working and half are deciding to stay home. “I am excited for the day when we all can be reunited,” she said.
Starbucks shifted its cleaning measures when the first case presented itself, and this included routine cleaning in high traffic areas.
“Being agile has been really important,” Butler said.
Starbucks has shifted to a strictly to-go model, and the cafe-only stores without drive-thrus are closed. Butler mentioned that it’s important to Starbucks for no employee to have to choose their health over their job, and if anyone has had an increase in temperature they have been asked to stay home. Individuals still continue to receive pay if they are unable to come into work.
“We don’t want [our workers] to be forced to come to work if they don’t feel comfortable,” Butler said.
Butler also said that Starbucks is doing community outreach, such as adopting a nursing home. This entails video chats with those in isolation at nursing homes.
“It might be a lot right now, but anything we can do to take care of our people… and make sure our employees feel taken care of,” she said.
Hogey has been dealing with operating a business that has been deemed non-essential. He explains Freedom Boat Club as being something of a cross between a country club and a time share where customers get unlimited access to boats and local lakes.
He said that he’s using this time to be creative and that, even though they are not operating physically, he stresses to his team that they are still open. “Perception is reality,” Hogey said.
He is also making sure he is doing what he can to take care of his employees and personalizing the ways he does that. This is anything from advances, draws, loans or even just paying for someone’s dinner.
Hammer shared the struggle of BPH Architects normally dealing with churches. Since this typically means meeting with church committees, this is something that is extremely difficult for the company at this time.
He did, however, share some positives that have come out of this. “My commute is a lot shorter,” he said jokingly, since he normally would drive from Seattle to Lynnwood. Now he only needs to move to a chair in a different room. Additionally, he shared that he is spending more time with his wife.
His main concern was with a lack of efficiency and the potential for distractions in working at home. He stressed having the mentality of still working full-time, going to a different room and turning off the work computer at the end of the day.
“We’re resilient… we’re adapting to a horrible situation, and we’re doing the best we can,” he said.
Another positive change he shared that could come out of this is the potential of working from home being more widespread across industries.
“We’re not in this alone,” Volz said. “We can learn from others’ expertise and knowledge.” She also said that it is encouraging to know that we don’t have to have all the answers as individuals but obtain answers through collaborations.
“This is not a sprint. This is a marathon, and we don’t even know how many miles the marathon is going to be,” she added.
Silver Creek Family Church will continue these webinars Thursdays at noon. For more information about the webinars or Silver Creek Family Church, visit www.silvercreekfamilychurch.org.