UNM-Gallup's SBDC Remains on the Economic Frontlines for Our Community.
By Cyndi Jarvison, Director of the SBDC at UNM-Gallup
May 2, 2020 - During this unprecedented time in our history—including this period of economic uncertainty—the nation celebrates Economic Development Week from May 4th through May 9th with a focus on economic resilience. As the nation observes this week, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UNM-Gallup remains on the frontlines to help our local businesses and economy remain resilient during this pandemic.
We are especially focused on providing statewide resources, business insights, webinars, and other resources to help our local business community plan their pathway through this pandemic and outline potential future steps to remain in business. Another key mission for the SBDC is to let the small business community know that we’re working on our challenges together as a community and encourage business owners to stay the course.
We field many questions each day related to how our local small business owners are going to survive this crisis. With financial assistance and loan programs in flux at the federal and state levels, we have a sense of urgency to rapidly adjust and respond with all the necessary tools and resources at our disposal—and to help navigate the programs now available through the federal government’s Payroll Protection Program and other SBA programs. Our goal is to help our clients even if things might not quite be the same when we eventually get to our new normal.
There are practical steps a business can take to see their way through this. We work with our business clients to find innovations and adaptations to better define and improve their operations. And, we look at methods to help slow the rate at which our clients might be burning through money, including reducing their fixed costs. The SBDC helps to review other unnecessary costs and ways to possibly reduce the amount of cash and expenses for their business. We also look at the real possibility of having a candid conversation with creditors to have clear and proactive financial conversations.
During this crisis, we always encourage a business owner to communicate with their customers to let them know of any updates, interruptions of services, adjusted hours, or new products or services offered so that customers are kept updated.
Business owners should also think through how they’re utilizing technology. What can be moved online or via phone ordering? Online events are also a great way to engage customers. And, innovate and try something new; or band together with other businesses to work together with complementary and competitor businesses. Zoom has become a great way to create a business development group to meet and discuss ideas with other businesses. Networking can also continue during this crisis online to build long-lasting relationships. Plan an online event as something to look forward to as part of the business plan to remain resilient and recover lost revenue. Importantly, craft a disaster plan that will keep your small business safe.
“We want our local small business community to know that our Small Business Develop Center is right here with them to assist through this crisis,” said Dr. James Malm, UNM-Gallup’s chancellor. “While the number of clients served daily has increased exponentially, we are treating each business owner with the care and attention they deserve. These times define a community, and we want to be here as a resource to help our businesses see their way through this crisis.”
The SBDC at UNM-Gallup invites our community to learn more about the NMSBDC network’s supplemental small business assistance, additional government resources, and other online resources in collaboration with WEST and SCORE at www.nmsbdc.org. We routinely share updated information regarding crisis support in collaborative efforts to educate the small business community.
The University of New Mexico - Gallup
705 Gurley Ave.
Gallup, NM 87301