Tara Jensen is a baker, teacher and author who lives on the Letcher County, Kentucky border in Pound, Virginia. She has worked in several different bakeries, from Vermont to North Carolina, and has been gaining experience in all parts of operating a bakery for the past decade. Tara now runs a mobile baking school and facilitates workshops on wood fired ovens and naturally leavened baking.
In 2019, Tara was busy teaching several week-long retreats at Pine Mountain Settlement School catered to both home and professional bakers. You could also find Tara and friends selling wood fired pizza, and other delicious treats, at the Letcher County Farmers Market and the Levitt Amp music series. When COVID-19 hit in 2020, Tara had to cancel all in-person events, including workshops, camps and pizza events.
“As a small business owner, things are always precarious. You’re always bracing for the next challenge, but an impact on social gathering of this scale was never on my radar,” Tara said. “I had no choice, but to pause almost all forms of making income and tell everyone to hold tight for a whole year.”
While she has stayed busy writing a new book, engaging with bakers virtually, and navigating parenthood, her business took a financial hit. When the Mountain Association was approved as a Paycheck Protection Program lender in March 2021, Tara applied for a fully forgivable loan. She will work with an accountant, at the Mountain Association’s expense, on all required documentation to have the loan forgiven.
“I didn’t apply for a PPP the first time it was available because I was intimidated by the paperwork and scared I wouldn’t understand the details. The folks at Mountain Association made the whole process transparent, easy and exciting. I feel supported and empowered, and was able to finally pay myself after several months!” Tara said of her experience.
We are now offering Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans through the current deadline of May 31, 2021. We strongly encourage all business and organizational leaders to investigate eligibility as these loans can be fully forgivable. Importantly, sole proprietors, businesses and organizations without employees, and non-profit groups may also qualify for this program. If you are unsure if you qualify, please contact Amanda Brewington at firstname.lastname@example.org. To apply, please find details here.