BBIF Client Spotlight: Kingdom Communications
Kingdom Communications LLC is a black women-owned company that specializes in low voltage data communications and video surveillance installation with a client base that spans across various industries and includes companies such as the NBA, City of Orlando and the Amway Center.
CEO Phylisa Dever has incorporated her strong work ethic to “do business with integrity and good character.” For over 15 years, Kingdom Communications LLC has taken pride in its commitment to develop cost-effective networks for each and every business it serves.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, business was good. Dever had two major companies that kept her team busy with work that required travel across the United States. But with the spread of COVID-19, Kingdom Communications LLC saw its nationwide travel come to a halt as shelter-in-place restrictions became widespread across the nation. Being considered an essential business couldn’t protect Kingdom Communications LLC from the financial pitfalls of the pandemic. Limited demand forced Dever to reduce office staff hours as she carefully monitored the gradual depletion of cash reserves.
The COVID-19 Shut Down Puts Additional Pressure on Kingdom Communications
The pandemic has uncovered a number of economic inequalities. along racial lines. Limited access to capital—whether from investments or bank loans—is the primary reason black and minority small business owners have little or no cash reserves on hand. Historically, black business owners have been denied loans by national funders more than any other racial group, according to Federal Reserve data. Additionally, the number of African-American business owners plummeted from 1.1 million in February 2020 to 640,000 in April, according to a recent study by the University of California at Santa Cruz. That’s a 41% drop in black-owned businesses in the U.S compared to the 17% of white business owners who closed their doors.
Desperate to meet payroll for her employees, Dever reached out to her bank to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a loan created under the CARES Act and administered by the Small Business Administration. Unfortunately, the relationship Dever cultivated through the years with her bank was not enough for her to be considered and her request for the emergency funds was never addressed.
CEO of Kingdom Communications Turns to BBIF Florida to Process PPP Loan
Dever, a longtime client with BBIF Florida, turned to the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), which specializes in bridging the gap between black, minority, and underserved businesses, and the money they need to reach their economic potential. As of May 31, 2020, BBIF Florida had provided $5.4 Million in PPP loans to underserved businesses. BBIF Florida was there to guide Dever through the PPP loan application process. After successfully receiving a PPP loan, she was able to meet her payroll requirements and save five staff positions.
“BBIF and the PPP loan have positively impacted my business because I was able to keep my payroll running and I didn’t have to lay anyone off. BBIF Florida really cares and tries very hard to make sure that their clients learn the skills they need to take them to the next level.” -Phylisa Dever, CEO of Kingdom Communications, LLC