An Open Letter to Small Business Owners: My PPP Rollercoaster Ride
Many small business owners have been frustrated by the obstacles they encountered when applying for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. Some applicants never received a response from their bankers, others struggled to submit paperwork in time due to lack of assistance. However, Meenu Sandhu, a southern California entrepreneur was astonished that TMC Financing was able to respond to her inquiries, help her through the application process, and approve her loans so quickly.
TMC Financing, a commercial real estate lender, originally helped Meenu acquire property for her business via the SBA 504 Program in 2012. As a current client, Meenu was invited to apply for a PPP loan from TMC. Although she was feeling defeated from her PPP experience with her bank, in a last-ditch effort, she decided to give it a go with TMC.
Here is how the story unfolded in her own words.
Dear TMC Financing,
I write to you amidst the chaos of PPP loan applications to share a very positive experience.
I have several companies – a true small business owner!
The amount of frustration and uncertainty I faced in the last few weeks is unjustifiable. I applied for a PPP loan with a major bank the day the program was released. Yet I had to sit and wait with no response, no hope. It felt like my application was submitted into a deep black hole. Despite several attempts, I couldn’t get anyone to answer the phone or reply to my emails. I didn’t know if I was missing paperwork, or if I correctly interpreted the SBA/PPP guidelines. I even called my business banker who had no time for me. I felt like I was begging for attention.
In addition, I was told to avoid submitting duplicate applications to other lenders. I felt loyal to my bank and our longstanding relationship, so I stood by and continued to wait. Then I learned that the very bank I trusted, helped larger companies first and ran out of funding before I could get approved! I felt so ignorant and helpless with no one to turn to.
After talking to a dozen business owners, I found the courage to apply again through a different bank. This time, I received loan documents and for a moment I was excited! However, my optimism did not last long. I never received further confirmation. I found myself right back where I was during my initial attempt – worried and hopeless.
Then, to my surprise, I get an email on Friday April 24th, at 2:30 pm from a trusted source – TMC Financing. TMC helped me with my very first SBA loan so I was thrilled to learn that you were accepting PPP applications! I mustered enough strength to apply ONE MORE TIME.
Once I submitted my application, I emailed TMC’s PPP team asking if anything was missing. I thought, perhaps they might be nice enough to care and provide a response?
Suddenly, I get an email at 10:15 pm on Saturday night! The email confirmed that TMC will be reviewing my application and included an approximate timeline for loan approval!
My first thought was wow someone is actually responding on the weekend – I was so appreciative.
It is now Sunday. I am worried because many news outlets reported that PPP funding was expected to run out as early as Monday. I remember thinking, oh no, I am too late. In desperation, I emailed TMC, never expecting that I would get a reply. I asked if I could apply for more PPP loans to help my other companies.
To my surprise, I received confirmation and I quickly submitted the necessary documents right away. The very next day, I was able to call TMC and talk to a live person! The experience was overwhelmingly beautiful, professional and helpful in every aspect.
I want to THANK TMC and people like Hunter Secrest, Grace, Bri, Staci, Kurt, the lady that answers the phone and the woman who responded to my very first issue on Friday at 4pm – Amanda Near.
TMC’s professionalism and consistent follow through helped me secure the funding I needed to pay my staff during this difficult time. I couldn’t be more grateful.
Through PPP funding, Meenu was able to continue to provide paychecks to staff employed at her gas stations, convenient stores and even her newly founded educational non-profit, Science Academy For All.
Thank you Meenu for writing such a gracious letter. We are so glad TMC could support you as well as many other local small businesses during this time of crisis.