More Industry Companies Share Thoughts on COVID-19 Relief Programs

glassBYTEs previously released an article detailing government COVID-19 relief program options for auto glass business owners. Since then, additional companies have come forward and have shared what programs they view as most valuable.

“The stimulus package won’t do it all, the government needs to come in and help get businesses back, like infrastructure even, you know similar to what President Roosevelt did just to get people working,” said Peter Brown, Tiny and Sons Auto Glass Co. (Tiny and Sons) president.

Mesko Glass & Mirror

Mesko Glass & Mirror owner Joe Mesko has applied for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which is a part of the CARES Act. All $349 billion designated to it has been used, though Congress is expected to approve more. Mesko believes PPP will be mutually beneficial to his company and employees in addition to aiding the business when it’s able to “start back up our staffing.”

When it came to filling out the form Mesko didn’t find it challenging.

“[I feel] the form was simple enough to complete, although [providing] the back-up of employee payroll was a bit cumbersome, it is required to confirm payroll,” Mesko said.

Tiny and Sons

Tiny and Sons may have temporarily closed its doors until the end of the month, but prior to that decision, Brown had applied for government relief.

“I’ve never had to borrow money before and it’s hard, business is off by 75%,” said Brown. “I looked at PPP, but I’d have to bring everyone [his employees] back.”

According to Brown, he had spoken to banks about the available options and he states they were “overwhelmed”.

“I think there will be a big burst but it will take a long time to revamp and unfortunately many businesses won’t survive – like the smaller start-ups,” Brown said.

However he did apply for aid, after waiting a few weeks from its initial start date to apply.

“I waited two weeks before applying for anything and the banks have said it will take weeks before we hear anything about the application status,” said Brown.

The PipeKnife Company

Dell Skluzak, owner of PipeKnife Company has applied for a few relief options and prepared ahead.

“Based on what I saw happening when President Trump invoked the travel ban, and having had travelled extensively in China, I realized in late January and early February that this virus was different and would have a significant impact,” recalled Skluzak. “Beginning in early February we began stacking up orders for personal protective equipment (PPE) and began quadrupling orders for gloves, spray bottles and other products that may be affected by supply chain interruptions.”

Skluzak says his company also started looking at various allocation procedures for its customers, in order to prevent hoarding and searching for alternate sources for particular products. The PipiKnife Company also:

  • Renegotiated its lines of credit to take advantage of lower interest rates;
  • Worked with a business partner on the East Coast to position PPE products to better serve its customers;
  • Had multiple meetings with its employees (some voluntarily took a sabbatical, and others said working from home would allow them to balance life needs);
  • Set up its facility to have only one person working in each physical spot; and
  • Issued all employees N95 masks, hand sanitizer and nitrile gloves.

“We made moves in late February to position our customer service people from home offices implementing new software, purchasing phones and computers and upgrading security systems,” said Skluzak. “We changed all passwords to financial and e-commerce sites and changed physical locks on doors to touchpads vs. hard keys.”

Despite all of the prior preparation, the company has noticed a dip in available work during the virus outbreak.

“Our business has steadily declined but still remains at a level that is manageable,” said Skluzak. “We continue to find niche opportunities for items such as spray bottles, sanitizer, and disposable gloves and the majority of our distribution base continues to be open and while orders are not as big, they continue to be placed.”

Has your company taken advantage of any government programs? If so feel free to leave a comment below or email eholcomb@glass.com.

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4 Responses to More Industry Companies Share Thoughts on COVID-19 Relief Programs

  1. Lawrence D Nieman, Jr. says:

    The biggest problem is going to be that the government has agreed to pay everyone who is on unemployment an additional $600 a week above their standard unemployment check. Regardless how much people made when they were working, they just got a raise to stay home.
    We are looking for people. We know people were furloughed or laid off at other companies. They tell us why should we go back to work. We are getting paid more to not work without any risk.
    Maybe the government could have let the states match what they were earning while on lock down, but certainly not more and definitely not an arbitrary date in the future.

  2. Miles Traveled = Broken Windshields

    No One Traveling = Lost Revenues

    Lost Revenues = Lost Business

    You Can’t, (and Never Will), get it back when there is nothing to get. I’ve been in this business for 46 years. There have been great times, lean times, and hard times, but I’ve never seen anything like this happen and it happened so fast. Almost no one was even remotely prepared for this. The PPP program is a nice attempt, but far more is needed and fewer restrictions on how its used.
    Rent Utilities, Insurance, Taxes. Vehicle Maintenance, all these things go on. Its nice to be able to keep employees on payroll, but when they have nothing left to do because the work isn’t coming in. what then?

    Concerned Auto Glass Owner, Tech, Salesman, CSR,

  3. We just used PayPal/LoanBuilders/WebBank for the SBA PPP loan application. It was much easier than dealing with our commercial bank’s repeated delays (Chase). WebBank signed the loan acceptance today. I believe this may still require SBA approval, but we are one step closer to getting funding. Keeping our fingers crossed in Texas…..

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