Van Duyne Hosts North Texas Small Business Roundtable
by Beth Van Duyne on March 29, 2021 at 5:15 PM
I recently hosted a roundtable discussion with small business and franchise owners across North Texas.
Small businesses are a vital component of our economy. In previous conversations with small business owners, many expressed concerns over the Paycheck Protection Program ending this month, even though the economy in Texas is just reopening.
Just yesterday, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Extension Act of 2021 passed in the Senate with bipartisan support. I was proud to cosponsor this legislation, and I look forward to the President signing it into law. It is commonsense solutions like the PPP Extension Act providing targeted relief that makes me proud to work on behalf of local North Texas businesses. We have a vibrant small business community in Texas-24 and I am honored to be an advocate for them and all entrepreneurs.
During the roundtable, local businesses owners and representatives were able to share their concerns about the economy, how the pandemic has changed how their businesses operate, and how they have made adjustments. Many were able to share Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) success stories and their excitement towards the PPP Extension Act.
What business owners are saying...
"I own Kriya RevGEN, a hotel revenue management software and service provider located in Grapevine, TX with 600 hotel clients all across the US. We've been in business since 2013. When the pandemic hit, our hotel clients were forced to close their doors and either cancel or significantly reduce their service with us. As our sector was the hardest hit of any industry, we saw an immediate hit to revenues (nearly 60% decline Q1 to Q2) and we were unfortunately forced to cut our growing team of 30 down to a team of 14. Thankfully, we received two rounds of PPP funds which allowed us to keep our doors open and gave us the confidence to hold onto our remaining team without making deeper cuts to our staff. We were also able to continue funding our software development initiatives we had set out previously in 2020 which has set us up to be more profitable in the long run. Now, as Texas reopens, we are fully resuming operations and looking forward to a hybrid return to the office. We have rehired several previously furloughed employees and are set to grow to 20 employees by the end of May. On top of all that, our new product is set to launch in the next few weeks. We look forward to getting together with our team again for in-person meetings, philanthropy events and, of course, company parties." - Laura Daviau, Managing Partner / VP, Operations, Kriya RevGEN
“Entering the 21st year as owner of Shaw Insurance Agency, we have faced many challenges along the way. As an essential business, when the Pandemic hit, we were fortunate we did not have to close or go remote. We were grateful for the PPP loan which enabled us to maintain current staff with full hours and full pay while still taking care of our insureds. We put a number of safety protocols in place to not only ensure the physical safety of our staff, but to also help protect the mental and emotional health as well. We are grateful that our Governor understands the importance of a strong economy and made the decision to open Texas back up, giving the small business owners the opportunity to again provide jobs and take care of their families.” - Susan Shaw, Owner, Shaw Insurance Agency
"Our business creates great sports camps memories for kids, and to do that, we have to be in-person and very physical. So COVID-19 was disastrous for us, as there was little room to pivot. We had to close throughout 2020, and are now ramping up with excitement for the 2021 summer. We look forward to working with Representative Beth Van Duyne to help craft legislation that is good for small businesses and families." - Trasa Cobern, Business Owner, BACKJAM Sports
“I own a wellness clinic in Grapevine Texas and we’ve been in business since 2007. When the pandemic hit, it financially put us in a bind. All of a sudden it felt like our company got hit by a powerful lightning strike. But thankfully we received a PPP loan which allowed us to keep our doors open and continue to afford payroll and other business expenses. Now, as Texas reopens, we are fully resuming operations at full capacity. Even though the company’s revenue has not been the same as pre COVID, we are now starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Vitality Wellness Clinic remains dedicated to serving our local community and continue to help and heal people daily without big pharma or surgeries. With that said, I’ve recently expanded my products offering online herbal supplements in addition to onsite chiropractic and circulation treatments to mitigate impacts of economic stagnation. We were only able to do this because of PPP funding. Without this assistance, our decade of blood sweat and tears would have gone to waste." - Zareena Samidon, CEO & Owner, Vitality Wellness Clinic
From left to right: Laura Daviau, Trasa Cobern, Rep. Beth Van Duyne, Zareena Samidon, and Susan Shaw