We are living in unprecedented times. The twin crises of COVID-19 and an economic recession will have short- and long-term ramifications for our community. Fortunately, as a highly-nimble, responsive, and collaborative organization, SVP Portland was able to quickly form a team of Partners to help nonprofits navigate the complicated landscape of economic relief, including securing Paycheck Protection Program funding. Noel Johnson, Lead Partner, shares about the team’s work.
“While COVID-19 continues to affect people’s daily lives, small businesses and nonprofits are also being hit hard by the economic impact caused by the pandemic. Whether they are laying off staff, decreasing their revenue projections, or adapting to serve communities virtually, the effects of today’s reality will have long-term impact on how organizations function.
“As community needs exponentially grows, and some business models fracture, SVP’s role as a trusted ally becomes increasingly impactful. Consider that in the first month of Gov. Brown’s March 16th closure order, more than 80,000 people lost their jobs across our Metro area (a 1,264% year-over-year increase). Worse still, job losses are twice as high amongst households earning $35,000 per year or less. Concurrently, nonprofits whose services are now needed more than ever face uncertain or declining revenues, be it through lost earned-income, government budget shortfalls, and/or reduced charitable support.
“Amidst unprecedented, devastating economic impact, SVP has helped secure more than $3.3M in federal funds for our Community Partners. Considering that Oregon has been amongst the least well-funded states, SVP Portland’s efforts have been valuable. Trust, responsiveness, and a humble (yet informed) perspective are some of the most important elements during tumultuous times. SVP understands this and has been action-oriented, which makes our impact uniquely powerful.
“True to SVP’s venture philanthropy mindset, an exceptional team of Partners assembled in late March to focus on how the Federal government was planning to respond to small business and nonprofit needs, what became the Paycheck Protection Program. Our team has been working—individually and collectively—to support past and present Community Partners’ efforts to obtain these operational loan funds. And we continue helping to ensure these funds become forgivable (i.e., grants).
“I’m proud that SVP has the social capital to help organizations navigate the immediate crisis, and the commitment to work through the longer-term challenges this pandemic will throw at our nonprofits. I’m also hopeful, as history suggests new ideas and reform arise from tough times. We have a chance to help today’s elected, business, and nonprofit leaders rise to the opportunity to choose progress, not status-quo, toward improving early childhood education in our community.”
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