“Jamie Foxx just promoted an app built on Quick Base.”
In my years working in B2B software, that was never a sentence I was expecting to hear associated with something I worked on.
But, here we are. And it’s not just Jamie—he and 13 other celebrities and influencers came together for a PSA to help black-owned businesses and communities learn how to determine their eligibility for SBA loans available through the CARES Act. And it just so happens to be available through a diagnostic tool that was built on Quick Base.
I joined Quick Base knowing that what we are doing here is different. I knew I could make an impact not just on my own career and growth, but also for our customers, their customers and their communities. But to be honest, I never imagined that something built in just a few days could help so many people.
Since March, when the impacts of COVID-19 in the U.S. started to close schools and send workers home, we’ve been doing everything we can to offer help to our customers and communities. We’ve seen our customers and employees build resources and templates to help one another manage through the disruption.
Then, just about three weeks ago, the CARES Act first established the Paycheck Protection Program and other small business relief programs to help sustain businesses and keep workers employed. In a time where so many small businesses are unsure of their future, we wanted to do everything we could to alleviate that stress.
So, when we got a call from Vista Equity Partners and heard about the vision of Robert Smith, we took on the challenge: Could we simplify the application process for these new programs? Could we help small businesses owners, particularly those most marginalized, get the funds they so desperately need?
Six days later, the SBA Loan Accelerator was officially up and running. And quickly, we saw an impact—thousands of individuals using the application and hundreds of completed forms generated.
Every day, our team and our customers turn complex workflows, like the SBA loan process into simple applications. Most of us aren’t coders. We’re problem solvers. It was really inspiring to watch this project turn into a social movement that our company and so many others are getting behind. Helping small businesses through the COVID-19 crisis—particularly those minority-owned businesses that are often underserved and underbanked—is something I’m personally invested in. My sister-in-law, a minority business owner, has had to shut down her retail furniture store for nearly two months.
She’s far from alone—small businesses and communities are being crushed, the impact of the economic crisis runs deep. People are losing jobs and businesses are shutting down. It’s a tough and confusing time for so many.
Besides knowing a heck of a lot more about the PPP and other SBA programs, I learned a few other things through this initiative:
I hear the word “unprecedented” thrown around a lot to explain what’s happening in our world today, and it’s really the best way to describe it. There is no playbook for this—the global economy has come to a screeching halt and this was certainly not a possibility that was top of mind for most of us.
But it’s our reality. And I feel so lucky and am humbled that I can be even just a small part of making a difference, creating something that has a real impact and can help folks stay in business and keep their people employed. Knowing that we’re ready to help small businesses get the funds they need in their hands ASAP is incredibly gratifying.