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Omaha-based Company Uses Payroll Protection Program Loan to Provide Meals and Mortgages

Wade Mayfield, owner of Omaha-based Thermal Services, Inc., is a big believer in finding your “why” - why you get out of bed every day. Wade’s “why” is very clear – he views business ownership as an “opportunity to change peoples’ lives like mine was changed.” That change began when Wade joined Thermal Services as a sheet metal technician in Sep 2000. He quickly became a service technician and was promoted into a leadership role by the fall of 2002. But that was just the beginning - in 2005 Wade became the VP of Operations, then the president in 2006. Then in April of 2011 he purchased Thermal Services from the owners. Wade enjoyed the challenge of going all the way from service tech to owner. “When you have an extraordinary American dream opportunity really put in front of you it’s more humbling than it is anything. That’s the best way to describe it. You’re able to do something you never believed possible – to be a business owner and be able to impact people’s lives and their livelihoods. It was an incredibly humbling and exhilarating experience all wrapped up in one.”

In spring of 2020, Wade found a new “why” – to do his best to provide stability and normalcy to his 90+ employees in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Wade jumped into planning mode as soon as it became clear his business would be affected. He put together a daily management “M & M meeting.” “The M & M stands for meals and mortgages. Our responsibility as we entered into this is that we are a business that can continue to provide meals and mortgages for our employees. If we can continue to do this, we will be successful.” Wade and his team quickly put together screening protocols for his customers and employees to be able to continue with service calls – the critical component of keeping his small business afloat.  He also implemented a phased cost control initiative, cutting back on things like capital investments, advertising, office supplies, OT hours, senior management salaries and hiring – everything that could control spending with as “little impact on [the] quality of life” as possible for his employees. “I had some sleepless nights thinking if my cash balances keep dipping below certain spots I’m going to have to cut people or do lay-offs,” Wade said.

Then Wade turned to the U.S. Small Business Administration and Pinnacle Bank for a $1M Paycheck Protection Loan. This forgivable loan program, guaranteed by the SBA, was created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and was designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. The loan program was a huge help to Wade’s business. “What the PPP did was two things: put [my employees] back in a normalized position from a household income standpoint, which brings back some security for them. The other thing was it allowed me as a business owner to say, ‘Okay, now that I know that’s taken care of, let me start planning so I know we’ll be in good shape once this ends.’ [The PPP] kept morale and our company culture in place.”

The novel Corona Virus pandemic has hit the economy hard, but Wade sees a silver lining. “It was a really good reminder for me that the cultural underpinnings [of our business], the focus and direction that we subscribe to, they work even under intensive pressure. The PPP helped us become an even better version of ourselves.” 

Company Name: 
Thermal Services
Location: 
Omaha, NE