Help for Business During Challenging Times
2020 has been a difficult year for many small businesses in our region, however, Community Futures (CF) Sunrise is here to help! One business that CF Sunrise was able to assist over the last few months was A Second Family Dog Lodge, owned by Deb and Blair Andrew in Carlyle.
“It’s a dog boarding facility where we take dogs overnight,” Deborah explained. “It can be just one night, or it can be for a weekend. We’ve had some dogs stay as long as three weeks!” Established in December 2018, the Dog Lodge became an option for families going on vacation, celebrating a graduation or wedding, or desiring assistance with their dog while healing from a surgery. Some pet parents would even bring their dogs in during the day while they were at work. The Dog Lodge became a huge hit in the community, and the Andrews had to create waitlists due to the popularity.
When Covid-19 hit, the Andrew family knew that some extra funding would be needed in order to continue operations. “We didn’t know if we were required to shut down,” Deborah recalled, adding that they took in the pets of some essential workers in their area. They tried to seek funding from the government but were told they did not qualify. “It’s difficult when you’re in a tight place when you are told, ‘no you can’t.’”.
But then they discovered CF Sunrise, and Deb felt that her contact at CF Sunrise, Verna O’Neill, provided “a completely different mindset” than what she had previously experienced. Deb had learned that emergency business funding would be available through the CF program. In the early days, when Deb initially called CF Sunrise, the federal government’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) was still in the development stage, so the Andrews were told that when the program was announced they would be encouraged to apply. “Verna was very honest, and she explained that she hadn’t seen the program and didn’t know what it would entail. But she still provided that hope, and she told us that she would see what she could do to help”. Once the RRRF applications were open, Deb said she knew within a week to 10 days after applying that she would receive funding.
Deb said she was unsure where their business would be today if not for CF Sunrise and the RRRF. She’s grateful for the experience she had with CF Sunrise, and the assurance and assistance she was offered. “To me, that’s what leaders do. They don’t confess to have all the answers, but they’ll walk through the tough times with you”.