Lala's Latest May 2020
April was a month full of ups and downs, processing, and grieving the situation we are all being impacted by in different ways by COVID-19. The two biggest things weighing on me were being there to support and be in community with our families as well as the livelihood of the Farmstead and its ability to serve the community and maintain staffs jobs and pay during these trying and uncertain times.
By early April the team had begun to settle into our new social media pivots, embracing how to start the Enka-Candler Tailgate Markets opening in compliance with regulations, how to work together to keep the Farmstead grounds maintained and ways we could support our families and stay engaged with that community. Flexibility, adaptability, grit, determination, perseverance, and hope are all required of the team to weather this time and I could not be more thankful and proud to be leading a team that has embraced those attributes and navigated this time with grace and compassion.
Information continued to come in about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) program and it was vague and nobody, not even the banks, were completely clear on how it was going to work, when it was going to start and who would be prioritized. Regardless of the nitty gritty details I knew it was a program the Farmstead could seriously benefit from receiving in its ability to keep staff employed. It was a couple of weeks of constant contact with bankers, local funding organizations, and zoom calls to learn and process all the information that was coming in and to get an application prepared to submit when the program opens. Then the applications started to open and I began to apply to any institution that would accept my application.
On April 9th I submitted an application to Mountain BizWorks. On April 11th I found out more items I needed to submit and did so. April 13th I get a call from them requesting more documentation and it is sent over. On April 14th the Farmstead was approved and April 15th we received our funds. And on April 16th word started to get around that the funds had been exhausted!!!
The Farmstead is by no means out of the woods from the economic impact of COVID-19, and due to the hard work of lenders and Mountain Bizworks and my neurotic applying for the PPP loan the staff of the Farmstead get some peace of mind about their job being secure through June 2020. I cannot predict the future and I will continue to work endlessly if needed to keep my dream of the Farmstead and the dream team I have assembled to run it intact through this. I know not all the PPP funds were lent to good hardworking truly small businesses, but I also want to share my story that some of it was. If you feel called to support the Farmstead during these times please visit https://www.ashevillefarmstead.org/support-us to see our needs and how we are trying to support other local businesses when re-open.
We have every intention of reopening and remain optimistic that we will be able to run the majority, if not all, of our Camp Farmstead program. As a team we are working on our stages of reopening so that when we open we do so in a way that keeps everyone safe and allows us to stay open. Once those policies and procedures have been adopted we will make an announcement sharing.
Ways to stay engaged with us: (Lee thought here is to create buttons for each of these, we can talk)
-sign-up for weekly learning activities
-listen to storytime (link to website blog)