Nine2Five Overcomes Economic Obstacles with SBA Assistance to Win Franchisee of the Year 2022
Stephen Shortland opened his own franchise of DES Employment, Nine2Five, in Bridgeton, Missouri in 2008. Shortland has been in the staffing industry for over 25, years helping to provide opportunities in the greater St. Louis area. Even with this experience, when the pandemic hit his company had significant obstacles to overcome. Workers were struggling and his bank balance dwindled to $800.
“I was sweating bullets and not sure what was going to happen.” Shortland said. Shortland heard about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance. He applied for PPP at his local bank St. Johns Bank Trust and Company in St. Louis. It took three-weeks for his $86,000 PPP application to be approved and funded. His business was also eligible and received $10,000 in the EIDL Advance shortly after. Nine2Five has eight full-time employees, one part-time employee and one contract staff member. Thanks to SBA COVID funding, he was able keep all his employees and is now looking to expand.
He won Franchisee of the Year 2022 at the annual International Franchisor Association in San Diego, California, in February based upon his accomplishments, influence, and established techniques within the staffing industry. According to Shortland, 2022 has seen excellent growth in his business and SBA made it easy to do honest business with a government agency. The PPP loan has been forgiven and compared with other forms and processes in other government agencies it was easy.
“The SBA is my favorite government office, it allowed my staff to keep going for 12 weeks, was just the boost I needed to keep going and thriving. The amount of stress before receiving the assistance saved my business and me from a partial heart attack.” Shortland stated.