Back in April, not long after COVID-19 hit, Lew Visscher from Lew’s List, Phil Vottiero from High Plains Advisors, and I launched the Covid-19 Finance Assistance Network (FAN) The network partnered volunteer CFOs with small businesses that were in need of financial guidance on carrying their business through the crisis and navigating the Federal programs from the CARES Act. Recognizing that smaller operations were at a huge disadvantage because they didn’t have access to the legal and financial resources that larger firms do, we wanted to do something to help them. Establishing FAN was a way to provide pro bono support to smaller businesses that were the most vulnerable to the shutdowns happening throughout the country.
We had 80 financial professionals volunteer their time to assist over 300 companies in Colorado and Arizona. Most of the requests for assistance came early on as companies were trying to conserve cash and cut expenses and while applying for the Payroll Protection Program. Interestingly, we saw continued interest and involvement throughout the summer and fall as firms looked to fundraise. Most of these came from early-stage startups.
As 2020 wound down, we made the decision to shut down the network as requests have tailed off and we’re not seeing the need we did in the early days of the pandemic. Having made an impact for so many small businesses in crisis is really gratifying to me. I’m incredibly proud of what we built with FAN and grateful for our partnership with Phil and Lew. Thank you and thank you to all of the finance professionals who volunteered their time to help out small businesses in their time of need.
Here’s to the future and hopes for a brighter, healthier, and calmer 2021!