Linda Jason of Your Travelmaker felt like she was at the edge of a cliff, about to fall over when the coronavirus began to affect her business. Then, someone pulled her back to safety. As a recipient of the Save Our Small Business loan, Linda was able to keep up with her basic expenses like her lease, utilities, WIFI and phone bills. “I was able to keep my clients confident I was not quitting or giving up.” Linda said.
The City of Fresno partnered with Fresno EOC and Access Plus Capital to implement its’ Save Our Small Business Program, central California’s first local COVID19 small business relief fund. In 30 days, Access Plus Capital deployed $750,000 to 118 local businesses selected to participate in the zero interest, no payment loan-to-grant program.
Linda has been in the travel industry in a storefront/retail setting for 30 years. She specializes in 24-hour ticket and delivery, and 24-hour on-call travel assistance for all booked clients. She found out about the Save Our Small Business Loan through local news and was helped through the process by Access Plus Capital employee, Mari Kroigaard. “She was instrumental in my gathering of all the documents. She was the reason I was successful in applying correctly, and ultimately receiving the grant!”
Linda was thrilled to work with someone like Mari who took her many questions, and was always patient and understanding. Without the loan, Linda’s business would not have been able to survive the pandemic, Mari and Access Plus Capital’s help allowed Linda to show her clients that she’ll still be here once travel is possible again.
Linda’s business was uniquely affected by the pandemic. The travel industry was turned upside-down. “Airline flights were deemed unsafe,” Linda explained, “The media told the public, cruises were ‘petri dishes.’ Whether a destination had coronavirus or not, it was deemed unsafe for travel. Many people are still afraid they will die if they get on a plane or take a cruise ship.”
Now, Linda plans to stay in business and book successful travel for the public. She’ll spend time proving to her clients which destinations are safe, and which destinations are coronavirus hot spots. Linda looks forward to advising her clients what health precautions airlines, cruises, hotels, and rental car companies are implementing to keeps people safe so they can make informed travel decisions. As a travel agent, she’ll be in a unique position to provide accurate and factual information to her clients about how to protect themselves and be aware.
Technical Assistance and small business assistance for this project was made possible by the general support from Wells Fargo Bank.