What's an intake form? Anna Carrier, Entrepreneur, and Community Business Program Lead at the Encova Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at West Virginia University can explain. As a Morgantown native, Carrier worked at a local law firm for two years while attending law school.
Carrier has also been a judge for the College of Business & Economics (B&E) Business Plan Competition since 2013 and currently teaches as an Adjunct Professor for the Management Department at B&E.
Find out what Carrier has to say about COVID-19 and intake forms for small businesses in the area.
HELPING SMALL BUSINESSES WITH AN INTAKE FORM
What can West Virginia businesses do – right now – to survive this current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic situation we're all facing today?
"When all of this hit, every part of WVU and any organization was trying to think 'How can we help, what can we do?' Our hands are tied a little bit, and what are some out of the box ways we can help? Webinars and virtual workshops have been great. The Encova Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is doing a couple of those.
We wanted to think of something else a little more unique, using the resources that we have. So, we came up with this idea to create an intake form for small businesses in West Virginia. We solicited the efforts of Chambers, College of Business and Economics faculty and staff that are subject matter experts - whether it be marketing, finance, business planning, accounting. We joined the two together and I'm acting as the traffic director for the intake forms," said Carrier.
A small business owner can come to Carrier and express their goals - loan navigation, marketing expertise, etc. Carrier will take that need and find the appropriate expert to guide that business owner in the right direction.
Carrier is trying to reach businesses that aren't part of networking groups in the area. These businesses that don't have the resources in their email are coming to them every day.
"Reach out and ask questions. The Small Business Development Center has been great also with loan application assistance. Everything is changing on a day to day basis so it’s hard for anybody to understand exactly what to do. I would say, don't isolate yourself. Make sure you reach out to everyone you know because chances are there are a lot of people around you going through the exact same thing - myself included.
I'm applying to these loans for my business as well. I know where these business owners are coming from. I think that's part of why it's my mission and passion to help these small businesses," said Carrier.
PAYMENT PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP) APPLICATION & ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN (EIDL)
Carrier applied to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and the Payment Protection Program (PPP).
"The EIDL loan is much easier - takes about five to ten minutes to apply. Assuming you have the numbers that you need. For a business, you might not know how to find those numbers; it could be challenging. We have some resources to help with that too.
For the PPP, I think the most difficult part is there are banks out there accepting PPP applications from non-customers. The majority of banks, you have to have some sort of loan with them at some point and you have to be deposited into an account there currently.
That makes it very tough. Trying to steer through that mud can be very challenging for small businesses," said Carrier.
Fill out an intake form here.
Find out more about the EIDL here.
Listen to the full podcast here.