Federal Assistance, Local Initiatives Helping Restart Arlington Economy During COVID-19
By Susan Schrock, Office of Communication
Posted on May 07, 2020, May 07, 2020

Small Business Assistance

The U.S. Treasury Department said earlier this week that roughly $145 billion is still available for Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program loans, which are already helping hundreds of small businesses in Arlington keep their workers employed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

So far, banks located in Arlington have committed more than $225 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans to more than 1,000 small businesses, according to the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce. Small businesses here are also tapping other federal financial assistance, such as the SBA’s Emergency Injury Disaster Loan Program.

Scott Parsinen is one of the small business owners in Arlington who has been helped by the federal assistance. Revenue for Cadmus Dental quickly dried up when non-emergency dental appointments were prohibited by the state because of the coronavirus, he said.

“We were at a point in our company lifecycle of being able to tell a great story,—that we were going to make it as a start up,” Parsinen said. “Then COVID came around fast and furious and we were like ‘Oh no, what are going to do?’ Our revenue disappeared.”

Cadmus Dental, which typically makes clear braces and aligners for dentists, quickly pivoted to making personal protective equipment but it wasn’t enough. With the help of the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce and Affiliated Bank, Parsinen said he was able to successfully apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan to keep his full-time employees paid and his company operating for at least two months.

In addition to helping connect businesses such as Cadmus Dental with private and federal resources, the City of Arlington and its partners are working on several initiatives to provide assistance to businesses and help the local economy rebound during the COVID-19 pandemic. These include:

  • The City, Chamber, Downtown Arlington and Convention and Visitors Bureau are collaborating with various public outreach initiatives to ensure that businesses are providing a clean and healthy environment for their employees and customers and that Arlington residents and visitors know they can trust that Arlington is a clean city for shopping, dining and entertainment.
  • As part of that effort, the Fire Department recently provided businesses with signs that are designed to guide customers and employees on how to remain in compliance with Gov. Greg Abbott’s latest executive orders and help protect public health. These signs include messaging that calls for social distancing standards, for sick employees and customers to stay home, and for businesses to conduct regular cleanings and use protective equipment and have protective measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • The City is also providing free drive-thru testing for COVID-19 for Tarrant County residents and distributing 250,000 free protective masks to businesses and restaurants as part of its efforts to move toward a safe, incremental reopening of the economy.
  • The Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce recently conducted a survey to gauge COVID-19 impacts on businesses, many of which have remained closed to the public or have been operated in a limited capacity since March because of the coronavirus. At least 75% of the businesses that responded said they expect their revenue to be impacted by 25% or more while at least 37% said they expected their revenue to be affected by 75% or more. Despite economic challenges, 90 percent of businesses who participated in the survey said they expected to reopen.
  • A group has been assembled, which includes Mayor Pro Tem Robert Shepard, who chairs the City Council Economic Development Committee, is also working to develop a sustainable economy with the presence of the coronavirus.

Cadmus Dental, which also received an Emergency Injury Disaster Program loan, now has a storefront at 521 E. Abram Street in addition to its website, www.4ppegear.com. The company recently donated face shields to the Arlington Fire Department to use at the City’s Covid-19 drive-thru test site.

“Our City, our businesses and our nonprofits organizations all share the "can do" attitude for which Arlington is well known,” Mayor Jeff Williams said. “No matter the challenge, we always respond with ‘we can, we do.’ While this crisis has momentarily slowed our trajectory, our resolve for a bright future remains strong.”

Click here to visit the Small Business Resources page on the City of Arlington’s coronavirus website.

Click here to visit the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Assistance for Small Business webpage for more information about loan programs.

Coronavirus, Invest In Our Economy, Small Business
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