We are continuously updating this page, which was originally posted March 17, 2020.
A note from Peter Hille, MACED’s President:
In this challenging and unprecedented time of global crisis, we are reminded that throughout Eastern Kentucky’s history, people have stuck together in hard times and reached out to help those who are most vulnerable. We believe in taking care of each other and making sure no one is left behind or left out, and our commitment to those values has only deepened as this crisis impacts our communities.
This may be the biggest challenge of our lifetimes, but we have faced big challenges before and the people of Eastern Kentucky have always risen to meet them, together.
Response to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the region has been swift and far reaching, as neighbors find ways to support each other through this extraordinary event. We know that many people will need help in the coming weeks and months to stay afloat. We are committed to doing everything we can to provide some of that assistance. We will also help people navigate the complicated processes that will be required to access even greater resources such as those being rolled out by the federal government.
We have been dedicated to helping Eastern Kentuckians build a brighter future for themselves and their communities for more than 40 years. While this crisis may change the way we do that work, it does not change our commitment to that mission. We will be in this with you – our partners, clients and friends – until the job is done. No matter what challenges may arise, we will face them together.
Here are a few details of what you can expect from us:
- Lending: After reaching out to our loan clients to see what they need, we immediately offered to reduce or defer their MACED loan payments for three months. In addition to referring qualifying businesses and non-profits to loans and programs from the Small Business Administration (SBA), we have ramped up our ability to help with those applications. We continue to offer our regular loans to both new and existing businesses, and on May 20, we added a new Economic Recovery Loan option.
- Business Support: Our business support program is working to provide free support from consultants to help our clients make immediate and long-term business plans for weathering this storm. We are also actively referring individuals to Kentucky Small Business Development Centers who have coaches available, and keeping a constant pulse on other resources available from our regional and national partners. Please find our current list of resources for businesses, organizations and communities here.
- Energy: While our energy team has had to delay all onsite energy efficiency and renewable site evaluations, we are offering several businesses, non-profits and public agencies assistance remotely, such as through remote solar site evaluations and utility billing reviews to check for billing errors. We also plan to put out a series of engaging videos and other social media posts to help individuals or business owners make DIY energy efficiency improvements while they have down time in their homes and businesses.
- Communications & Policy: As always, we are sharing stories on social media and our blog, emphasizing ways to support small businesses and communities during this time, and focusing on stories about the ways communities are coming together and how businesses owners, including self-employed artists, are innovating and adapting their services. Additionally, we are advocating for local, state and federal policy and legislation that supports our communities, small businesses, non-profits and other Community Development Financial Institutions, like MACED.
Note: As requested by Governor Beshear, we are doing our part to “flatten the curve” and slow the spread of this disease. For now, our offices are closed to the public but we are still working hard to meet your needs. All of our staff are working from home and some are taking leave as needed due to school and childcare center closures. Client meetings are being held over the phone or online. We are happy to talk about planning trainings, like “How to Airbnb,” but we will wait to schedule any hard dates.
Please do not hesitate to contact your MACED staff contact with any questions or concerns. If you are not yet connected with MACED, contact Ariel Fugate at firstname.lastname@example.org or 859-302-3868 and she will direct your inquiry.