Magazine Publisher Navigates Pandemic with Local Assistance
Patterson Publishing of Polk County
Ten years ago, having already experienced success in the publishing industry via a national car magazine and the Florida Magazine Association, Curt Patterson found himself sitting with the publisher of Boca magazine discussing Boca’s success. Seeking a new opportunity, he decided to launch Patterson Publishing, and The Lakelander magazine, two months later.
“There were no city magazines in Lakeland,” he said. “We were looking for other opportunities and [Boca] caught my attention.” After launching the monthly magazine, the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the nation and business slowed to a halt.
“We were a business that was dependent upon other businesses advertising,” he said. “Many of these businesses did not even know if they were going to be in business. I had to navigate through that and see if the SBA had any options for financing.”
This led Patterson to reach out to the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at University of South Florida (USF), where he connected with Simplice Essou, a business consultant specializing in accounting, business planning, and financial management.
“I needed a trusted voice to navigate through COVID. I reached out to Simplice and he helped me understand the PPP program,” Patterson said. “After the PPP ran out, we had to get back to business because there was not going to be anything to sustain our employees. Later we found an SBA loan, which was a great opportunity for us to take a look at our whole financial picture and fix anything that needed to be fixed with the full intent of a healthy business.”
Patterson and his team were able to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic and get back to creating content with more ease. He says he looks forward to growing the business and continuing to provide a great magazine for the city of Lakeland.
“This is definitely a great resource to help understand how to deal with things, like a national catastrophe like this,” he said. “Even on smaller areas, just on the loan with the Small Business Administration; very helpful.”