Family YMCA of Emporia-Greensville
Shelia Reavis, controller for the Family YMCA of Emporia-Greensville, discovered the Longwood SBDC while looking for information on Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, available because of COVID-19. She considers it her lucky day. “I sent out a generic email to the Longwood SBDC to ask about applying for PPP loans,” Shelia says. “Ellen Templeton responded right away. I felt like I’d found my best friend. She was Johnny on the spot and really down to earth — she was great.”
“A PPP loan was essential for us,” Shelia adds. “Ellen helped walk me through the whole application process. She helped me focus on the amount we needed, but not too much,” Shelia explains. Although the Y had to shut down from mid-March to June 1st, there was only one week that employees went without pay. “We were lucky to be able to continue to pay all our employees,” Shelia adds.
Shelia is involved in every aspect of its operation. “I supervise the membership and marketing departments, as well as maintenance and custodial services,” she adds. “I also do all the accounting and payroll.” During April and May when the Y was closed, Shelia took advantage of several of the SBDC’s webinars. “I was watching around five webinars a week,” she says.
Shelia appreciates the SBDC’s help in keeping the Y up and running. “Our town didn’t appreciate how much the Y means to everyone until it went away,” she says of the recent shutdown. Shelia cites a camaraderie that crosses social, racial, and economic barriers. “Looking at the treadmills one day, I saw a judge, a doctor, and a farmer all talking and laughing together while working out,” she recalls. “Where else would these people end up being friends?”
Shelia appreciates the value of friendship — like the one she’s developed with Ellen.
“Our biggest advantage during the COVID crisis was Ellen and the SBDC,” Shelia concludes. “I could call Ellen any time and ask questions. When we applied for that PPP loan, Ellen was our inside connection.” Shelia has already told several others about the SBDC and its services. “I plan to keep our connection with the SBDC,” she concludes. “It really is like working with a friend.”