SEATTLE — Many local small businesses have been impacted by closures and regulations due to COVID-19. Harborstone Credit Union is working with business members to ease frustrations during this time, including offering a Skip-A-Payment program and waiving processing fees.
“We’ve done as much as we possibly can to ensure our membership has as easy of a time as possible,” said Galileo Tan, Preferred Employer Program Manager at Harborstone Credit Union. "I know things are still hard, but the more we can minimize the hardship they go through, the better it is at the end of the day.”
Business Impact NW provides free coaching, trainings and funding to small businesses and often works with startups. President and CEO Joe Sky-Tucker says the biggest challenge for many businesses is that revenue is down significantly because of the pandemic, especially in retail and restaurants.
“The public health crisis needs to come first, and our businesses understand that,” Sky-Tucker said. “The challenge really for them is how do they make it work. I call it a white-knuckle moment for them right now. We’re kind of just holding out through this to get back to business as usual.”
Harborstone Credit Union is a key partner to Business Impact NW, providing capital, sponsoring events and giving guidance on how to positively impact the business community.
The organizations were able to work together to help businesses with the Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program loans. Because Harborstone was so flooded with requests for help, some members were able to be referred to Business Impact NW for help.
“Just to hear the relief in their voices, to me, those phone calls were definitely worthwhile to make,” Tan said. “Initially you start out with bad news, but then you flip it around and it becomes good news because of our partnership with Business Impact NW.”
Navigating this unprecedented time is a big challenge for many businesses, so Sky-Tucker encourages community members to help when possible.
“Shop local. Find a business you like. Your dollars go further when you spend it locally. You get to know the shop owners and it enriches the community.”