Sage Salon of Pasco County
Jennifer Gregory, owner of Sage Salon in Land O Lakes, was excited to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the salon in October 2017. With 18 employees, the woman-owned salon provides upscale hair services to the surrounding community. But even with such a happy celebration, things have been tough since Hurricane Irma made landfall in September.
Sage Salon was closed for business before and after the hurricane passed through. With both clients and employees out of the area, getting things back to normal has taken some time, and affected the bottom line.
Seeking assistance with filing for a State of Florida Emergency Bridge Loan, Gregory reached out to the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida. Business consultant Bill Burnham is based at the Greater Hernando Chamber of Commerce and has been assisting business owners as they navigate disaster recovery loans. Burnham also holds office hours at the Pasco Economic Development Council weekly.
When asked about her experience with the storm and the assistance received, Gregory recalled:
What type of damage occurred?
Revenue loss simply due to being closed for several days prior and during Hurricane Irma. We normally are open seven days a week, so losing those days during and after the storm, and not operating at 100 percent even after the storm, took a toll on us. We had several employees out, not to mention customers cancelling their appointments that they had scheduled. Then we had to work out how to get them back into the business after the storm had passed. We definitely put in some extra hours on the back end.
How will the Bridge Loan help?
Extremely. The Bridge Loan will be used to ensure our employees are paid on time and in full, our vendors are paid and we are able to continue to operate consistently. It truly is a “bridge” so that we don’t have an interruption in business.
How was the Florida SBDC at USF helpful during this process?
10 out of 10! From my first email and interaction with Pat Bryant to my many subsequent calls and emails with Bill Burnham, everyone was responsive, knowledgeable and more than helpful. It’s rare to find great service these days. That’s the one thing we focus on in our business. It was so comforting and refreshing to work with an organization whose purpose and objectives were similar to how we operate. Bill was thorough and so responsive – a late-night emailer, like myself! We could have never navigated this without their assistance.