Patrick Eloi built his Information and Technology business with one mission: to provide quality IT support to clients “24/7, 365 days a year.” His Fort Lauderdale-based company, Complete Care IT, has been providing worry-free IT to small and medium-sized businesses for 25 years. And while Eloi’s goal is to prevent downtime and increase productivity for his clientele, he saw his own productivity decline due to the spread of COVID-19.
With sluggish business sales and low cash reserves, Eloi was faced with the daunting task of cutting costs by any means necessary. This meant cutting staff— an unthinkable decision for Eloi since he considers each team member as family.
It’s a scenario that many business owners have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. For black and minority entrepreneurs like Eloi, the pandemic has left them especially vulnerable to economic ruin. National lenders are hesitant to lend because of the riskier credit profile. Underlying issues such as limited access to capital, little or no cash reserves and fewer employees allows them to label black and minority owned small businesses as “at risk” and “distressed,” shutting them out of vital opportunities to gain financial health.
With the rolling out of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), small businesses flocked to apply for federal coronavirus relief through the Small Business Administration loan program. However, many black and minority business owners walked away empty handed because they either didn’t qualify or the funds ran out as large companies snagged millions of dollars through loopholes in the PPP.
Luckily, BBIF Florida (BBIF), a Florida based Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), was able to provide a solution for Eloi and many black and minority business owners like him. BBIF has a mission to develop and promote Black business enterprises through education, training, loans, investments, and other activities, and to aggressively promote an atmosphere conducive to their development.
BBIF walked Eloi through the loan application process and helped to secure Complete Care IT with a PPP loan. The PPP loan helped Eloi meet the payroll for four full-time positions at Complete Care IT, allowing him to keep his tight-knit team intact.
“Family is of fundamental importance, and the PPP loan allowed us to keep our Complete Care IT family together. Thanks to the BBIF organization, we received much-needed help during our most difficult time.” – Patrick Eloi, CEO of Complete Care IT
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